The latest addition of the Vital Reading blog
If you had offered me 4 points from Palace and Millwall this time last week, I would definitly have taken that, so I think we can say that was a very succesful week. Especially when you consider that we kept 2 clean sheets as well, then we can be pleased, especially Adam Federici who was outstanding at Millwall.
Palace in truth did not offer much competition for the Royals on Saturday, but they have gone and scored four in midweek against Portsmouth so are clearly better than they showed at the Madejski Stadium. I was so impressed with Shane Long though, he was superb but he must not rest on his lorals and needs to put in these kind of performances on a much more regular basis.
A goalless draw never really fills football fans with excitement, but the trip to the New Den on Tuesday was one of the rare entertaining 0-0’s. Despite Federici making three excellent saves, and Matt Mills a rock at the back, we threatened going forward and Jimmy Kebe was outstanding once again. It was a close call when he had a goal chalked off for offside, and I have seen lots of comments from Lions fans post match about how he is one of the best players they have seen in this division. Perhaps now they realise why we let James Henry go!
Middlesbrough on Saturday should be a good one, if we can keep that crowd quiet (those that turn up anyway!) early on, then they will turn on their team if things are not going right. I can see us getting at least a point, if not all three and building up the pressure on Gordan Strachan and his side.
More good injury news this week, as assistant Nigel Gibbs declared that Chris Armstrong is ready for a first team return after playing 90 minutes on Tuesday in a reserve game against QPR. The former player of the year has been out for over a year and will be like a new player, but where does that leave Marcus Williams? Started as our first choice left back this season but with Ian Harte now signed, and Stretch back, he could now be considered third choice. Still, its better than the problem we had just a few weeks ago when we had no full backs!