Essential reading on this weekend's opponents


Nickname: The Royals
Manager: Nigel Adkins
2013/14: 7th
Ground: Madejski Stadium
Fastest road route from Carrow Road: 155 miles (2 hours 48 minutes)

Six defeats in eight have left the Royals just three points above the drop zone in the Sky Bet Championship ahead of their visit to Carrow Road.

Nigel Adkins’ men lost 2-1 at Cardiff City last Friday night, a game in which ex-City defender Alex Pearce scored an own goal, gave away a penalty and was then sent off.

After the weekend’s action they landed in 15th place, five spots below the Canaries.

“Defensively they have been very poor. They have conceded so many goals due to sloppy individual errors,” says Reading Post reporter Charles Watts.

“Injuries haven't helped, they've missed several key men over the course of the season but the form still isn't good enough, especially away from home where they haven't won since August 30.

“In the league they have picked up just eight points from a possible 33.”

It is Reading’s second season at this level since suffering relegation from the Premier League in 2013, and they finished just outside the play-offs last term in 7th place.

The head-to-head record between the two teams is tight, with the Berskhire outfit edging just ahead with 26 victories to Norwich’s 25. City won 2-1 the last time they met, however, in a crucial top flight encounter at Carrow Road in April 2013.

Pearce (2008) is the only former Canary in their squad.


Nigel Adkins took the third managerial role of his career when he stepped into the hotseat at the Madejski Stadium in March 2013.

The appointment came two months after his untimely sacking at Southampton, a club he guided to back-to-back promotions from League One to the Premier League during a hugely successful spell at St Mary’s.

Adkins, a former goalkeeper with Tranmere Rovers and Wigan Athletic, couldn’t halt the Royals’ slide to eventual relegation and the 49-year-old has had to work under considerable financial constraints since.

Despite that, Watts admits his position has come under the spotlight in recent weeks.

“He says it himself, football is a results business and at the moment Reading aren't getting them. Eight points from 33 is relegation form,” he added.

“To be fair to Nigel he has had to work through extremely challenging circumstances since he arrived at the club.

“Unless results they improve quickly though, the pressure will continue to build on him. It's inevitable and he's been in the game long enough to know that.”

Merseyside-born Adkins took his first Football League job at Scunthorpe United in 2006, unusually stepping up from the role of physio to replace Brian Laws.

Goalkeepers: Adam Federici, Mikkel Anderson.

Defenders: Chris Gunter, Stephen Kelly, Anton Ferdinand, Alex Pearce, Michael Hector, Shaun Cummings, Jake Cooper.

Midfielders: Oliver Norwood, Danny Guthrie, Hal Robson-Kanu, Jordan Obita, Garath McCleary, Hope Akpan, Ryan Edwards, Jem Karacan (c), Danny Williams, Jake Taylor, Aaron Kuhl.

Forwards: Pavel Pogrebnyak, Simon Cox, Jamie Mackie, Glenn Murray, Nick Blackman.

Reading, Saturday November 29, 3pm


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