COLUMN: Clash with Forest is must-win for Gomes and Reading FC

Royals are winless in 11 matches

MOMENTUM isn’t a word that’s been associated with Reading Football Club in quite some time.

Although the Royals have managed a handful of league wins this season, they’ve not come back-to-back, instead feeling more random than by design.

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Any attempt at creating some momentum has been let down at the first opportunity – any win inevitably followed by a draw or loss, any promising display followed by a bad day at the office. Turning that all around is a daunting task for Jose Gomes, but he’s got a great shot at achieving it.

Callum Harriott has scored Reading’s only goal since mid-December

He may have overseen a return of three losses and one draw in his opening four matches as Reading boss, but there’s a real sense that progress is being made.

On the pitch, the performances against QPR and Manchester United were two of the better displays we’ve seen this season with Reading knocking the ball around with a swagger unbecoming of a side 23rd in the Championship.

Off the pitch, Gomes’ straight-talking approach in interviews and brutal trimming of the squad have gone down well with supporters. He enjoys a level of goodwill and, dare I say it, a sense of optimism that Reading simply must translate into points.

The first test of that comes on Saturday with the visit of Nottingham Forest, a must-win match if ever there were one.

Three points against the Reds wouldn’t get Reading out of the relegation zone, but they would remind the players and fans that good performances can be backed up with results – a feeling we’ve almost forgotten in recent times.

A loss or draw and the worries will creep back in, Gomes having had five chances at a win as Reading manager and failed each time. Get it right on Saturday though, and maybe we’re not headed for League One after all.

Simeon can be found on Twitter @SimFromBucks and his Reading fansite account is @TheTilehurstEnd.

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