Following an impressive run of results in September, Reading’s fortunes took a sharp dip before the recent international break, as Veljko Paunovic’s men fell to four consecutive defeats.
In those games, the Royals conceded eight goals and scored just two at the other end, as they were toppled by Blackpool, Blackburn Rovers, Bournemouth and Millwall, triggering a quick drop towards the bottom end of the division.
As a result, they now possess one of the league’s worst defensive records, with only Cardiff City and newly-promoted Peterborough United shipping more goals than their 29, but Paunovic’s men did manage to arrest their slump.
In the final game before the recent break, a second-half Jahmari Clarke brace saw them overturn a deficit to pick up a vital away win over Birmingham City, before they returned to action on Saturday with a 1-1 draw at home to Nottingham Forest, as Scott Dann swept in an equaliser.
Now sitting 19th in the English second tier, the Royals will look to make it three games without a defeat on Tuesday, when they welcome Sheffield United to the Madejski Stadium.
After their relegation from the Premier League and the summer appointment of Slavisa Jokanovic, Tuesday’s visitors have struggled to kick into gear in the Championship, having won just five of their 18 league games this term.
The Blades now head into the trip in a run of four games without a win, as a narrow victory over strugglers Barnsley was firstly followed by a defeat at home to newly-promoted Blackpool.
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Jokanovic’s men then earned a point from a 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest, before Rhian Brewster’s early goal against Blackburn Rovers was overshadowed with the hosts eventually winning 3-1 at Ewood Park.
The Bramall Lane outfit returned to home soil after the international break on Saturday, and they were involved in a share of the spoils after a goalless draw with high-flying Coventry City, potentially, at least, giving the Serbian boss some confidence in his defensive unit having conceded 26 goals in the first 15 games.
They will hope to put their poor run behind them and kickstart a winning run on Tuesday but will know they have to arrest a major long-term slump in confidence in South Yorkshire