“It would be arrogant and misplaced to think that in any game in the Championship we are going to get three points very easily. We have to work very hard and show some quality on the ball, otherwise a well-organised team like QPR can be very hard to score goals against.”– Reading FC Assistant Manager Andries Ulderink
“QPR have got a new manager and it looks like he is getting his points across now. He’s very enthusiastic and wants his team to play in a similar manner. They’ll work hard so we definitely won’t be taking them too lightly.”– Reading FC Defender Liam Moore
“Reading are an excellent team with a fantastic manager. Jaap Stam’s doing a great job. We’ve got to try and block Reading and then have enough to counter that and show we can play a bit too.”– QPR Manager Ian Holloway
Reading will be putting their disappointing FA Cup defeat to Manchester United behind them as their attention returns to the Championship. The Royals face 17th placed QPR at the Madejski Stadium for the first home fixture since the abandoned game against Fulham.
FA Cup aside, Reading have been performing well so far this season. Jaap Stam’s side are currently third in the Championship table with a game in hand and will be looking to apply further pressure on second placed Newcastle United with a win on Thursday evening. Reading’s last league game ended in a 3-1 victory against a strong Norwich team and the Royals will have taken confidence from that result.
QPR manager Ian Holloway, meanwhile, will be hoping to push his side up the table with a win. The Hoops have won their last two games in the league, winning 2-1 against Ipswich Town and Wolverhampton Wanderers. Their poor start to the season, however, means that there is still a long way to go if they are to push themselves up the table.
When the two teams met earlier in the season at Loftus Road, the game finished 1-1. Despite statistically dominating the game against a side that had not won at home, Reading could not find a second goal to earn the victory. Instead a goal a piece from Pawel Wszolek and Danny Williams meant it ended in a draw.
Much talk amongst Reading fans has been about the seemingly impending transfer of Tiago Ilori. The centre-back is still yet to be confirmed as a Reading player, however, so clearly has no part to play as of yet. The Royals will also be without some key players as Paul McShane recovers from his operation and Callum Harriott faces a four to six week spell on the sideline following his injury sustained in the abandoned Fulham game.
QPR, meanwhile, have completed a loan signing during the January transfer window in the form of winger Kazenga LuaLua who is eligible to make his debut for the club against the Royals. Idrissa Sylla could return from a concussion, while Michael Doughty and Darnell Furlong are back in contention after returning from loan spells at Swindon. Jordan Cousins, Jack Robinson and Steven Caulker are all sidelined and James Perch could also miss out through illness.
If Thursday’s game lives up to previous standards, it will probably not be a thriller. Five goals have been scored in the last six league meetings between the two sides at the Madejski, with two goals being scored by the home side. A potentially bad omen for the Royals is that last season’s equivalent fixture was also on a Thursday evening and was won by QPR in the 90th minute courtesy of a Nedum Onuoha goal. Reading have not won a league match on a Thursday since December 1991, drawing three and losing five since.
All of those games, however, are history and Reading are currently performing far better than their hooped counterparts in the Championship. Of course no team at this level should be underestimated and Reading will have to be at their best to extend their winning run at home to six games.