Reading Boss Ruben Selles is looking to carry Saturday’s momentum into tonight’s bottom of the table clash against Carlisle United.
The Royals won their first away league match of their League One campaign on Saturday and the victory against Wycombe was actually their first on the road since the 12th of November 2022 when they defeated Hull City 2-1 in the Championship.
With the monkey now off of their back, Selles is hoping that the added confidence can inspire his side to another victory this week, with Reading welcoming Carlisle United to the Select Car Leasing Stadium.
It is an extremely important game for both sides given their league positioning currently. Despite the win on Saturday, the Royals still sit at the foot of the League One table and seven points off of safety, however their visitors are only two positions ahead.
It hasn’t been a great return to the third tier for Carlisle following a nine-year stint in League Two, with Paul Simpson’s side finding themselves two points from safety and with only one point to their name from their last three matches. Although the Cumbrian side earned a point at home to Charlton on Saturday, that point was somewhat overshadowed due to wins for both Reading and Cheltenham at the bottom of the table.
The confidence that Royals’ players may now have knowing that they gained two points on tonight’s opponents could alter tonight’s bottom of the table match up in their favour.
That is something that Ruben Selles certainly echoed in his pre-match interview, but the Spaniard insisted that the players must remain focused on the task at hand. Speaking to the club’s official website, the manager said:
“Let’s take things day by day, and step by step.”
“It has happened before where we have talked about, ‘this is the booster, now we can go’ – it didn’t work.”
“So we need to be sure that we keep doing the things we know how to do, so now we are just focused on our next target.
“We are always happy to have games again this quick. It means we can recover, prepare and go again.
“We will try to put in a very good performance and try to get a victory. That would be a real boost. But first, we must do our work!”
This is certainly a pivotal game in Reading’s season, and could spark a resurgence in the side. With no back-to-back league victories since mid-August, Selles will certainly be hoping his players can continue the momentum as they look to claw back some points on their competitors.
It may only be November, but this tie has all the hallmarks of a six-pointer. Although we will no doubt see multiple changes in the league table from now until the end of the season, whenever two sides in the relegation zone meet, it is always significant in the course of the season.
If Reading are able to get a result then we may see some progression up the League One table in the coming weeks, but a loss could mean it is back to square one. The real winner of tonight’s contest is Cheltenham Town, who know that one of the two teams has to drop points and it could be a night of change in the League One relegation picture.