Luke Turner looks ahead to the game tomorrow…
Gary Rowett takes his side to the Madejski Stadium tomorrow to face Reading where he will be looking for a response from his players after two defeats in a row.
The play-off chase has all but ended for Blues so it might now be time for Rowett to experiment a bit more and give other players an opportunity.
Of course, he will still want to finish the season strongly but I think that he will be looking forward with next season in mind.
Reading will provide Blues with a tough test and are unbeaten at home in 2016, so their tails are certainly up.
The Royals currently sit in 13th place, just five points behind Blues and they have some quality players in their side who will no doubt cause problems.
I wouldn’t be surprised if this game turns out to be a quite open one, given that both teams are pretty much just playing for pride at this stage.
What Blues mustn’t do is allow Reading a foothold in the game as the men in the middle, Oliver Norwood and Stephen Quinn, have the ability to dictate play and provide the attackers with pin-point passes.
With the likes of Matej Vydra, Yann Kermorgant and Lucas Piazon, Reading have players with Premier League experience and can punish defences very easily.
They might not have scored the amount of goals they should’ve done this season but it only takes one chance for a top class player to win a game.
Their defence also includes top flight experience with Paul McShane, Chris Gunter and goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi so McDermott`s team will be no pushovers.
They have kept 11 clean sheets this season so I expect them to be strong and resolute against our attackers who have been struggling to find the net of late.
Perhaps the pressure of keeping in touch with the play-offs had an affect on our players and they may now have more freedom to play and express themselves.
Rowett has stated that he might make a couple of changes which is certainly what I expected after Tuesday`s performance.
It would be nice to see Viv Solomon-Otabor get an opportunity as I believe that his pace could really cause trouble to the Reading defence.
Kyle Lafferty might also get another start after his goal on Tuesday and his style of play could turn out to be very beneficial to us.
For me, I would start with two out and out wingers rather than play Donaldson out there where he is pretty much wasted and looks out of place.
This could mean a start for Solomon-Otobor, Will Buckley or David Cotterill with Jacques Maghoma switching flanks to his usual left one.
We can certainly pose plenty of problems to that Reading side tomorrow with the options available, but if we play how we did on Tuesday then another defeat could be on the cards.
It is important to pick up a bit of form and try to finish as high as we possibly can as this will stand us in good stead for next season.