It looks like Newcastle will have a tough game tomorrow night at the Madejksi Stadium in Reading.
The Medejski Stadium at Reading
Since Newcastle were promoted, we’ve been looking at the various final Championship tables of the last 10 years or so, and would you believe the team with the most number of points in a season is Reading.
When they were promoted to the Premiership in season 2005-2006, the club finished the season with an amazing 106 points, the most ever by a Championship side, since the Premier League was created back in 1992. Reading’s manager at that time was of course the impressive Steve Coppell.
In the Premier league the next season 2006-2007, then they finished an impressive 8th, with 55 points and 16 wins during that season. They won 31 games that season and finished with a goal difference of 67 and won the league by 16 points from second-placed Sheffield United.
Birmingham, who finished 3rd that season won the final play-off place – here’s the Championship table from that year.
Newcastle can equal Reading’s wins in that season by winning their remaining 4 games, but would still be 2 points short of Reading’s overall total of 106 points, so that’s one record we cannot match or beat in this magic season on Tyneside.
Reading are currently in 11th place in the league, but had a wonderful run in the FA Cup earlier this year, when they reached the 6th round.
They beat Liverpool at Anfield 2-1 after a replay in the 3rd round. Reading were 1-0 down in that game just before the end, before Gylfi Sigurdsson scored a penalty to equalize into injury time.
And then Shane Long hit a fantastic winning goal after 20 minutes of extra time, and in fact Shane Long looked a really good player throughout the FA Cup run, and we wonder if Newcastle are interested in this impressive 23 year-old Irishman?
In the 4th round Reading then beat Premier league side Burnley 1-0 at home.
Reading then managed another miraculous result in the 5th round by beating now promoted WBA 3-2 at the Hawthorns in a replay. They again equalized in injury time in that replay, through Jay Tabb to take the game into extra time.
Then in the last minute of added time, the 120th minute, Jimmy Kebe got the winner when everybody was thinking of a penalty shoot-out.
The dream came to an end at the Madejski Stadium in the 6th round against Aston Villa 4-2, but not before Shane Long had put Reading 2-0 up at half time.
So whereas Blackpool seemed scared of Newcastle’s prowess last Saturday afternoon, that will certainly not be the case with Reading tomorrow night, and the Newcastle team will find themselves in a tough game.
But a win in what is our game-in-hand tomorrow night, will all but ensure Newcastle win the Championship this season, and also be within 5 points of the magic 100 points, which is a target manager Chris Hughton would like to meet.
In the last 10 league games Reading have 6 wins, 3 draws and a 2-1 defeat at Ipswich Town, so they are in decent form with 20 points from those games.
However, they will not be able to qualify for a play-off place being 9 points adrift of a play-off place, but they must stand a decent chance next year if the can maintain their form of this year.
So we expect a difficult task tomorrow night, and a win would be a great result for the in-form Magpies.