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Is Nigel Adkins the right man to turn things around at Reading?

Reading lost their third successive game on Tuesday night as they succumbed to a 3-0 defeat to Bournemouth.

Reading have been in or on the periphery of the Premier League for the last decade and this season was expected to consist of another promotion push despite a depleted squad. Many of the club's players from their last Premier League campaign just two years ago have departed, however they still have one of the strongest squads in the league.

Pavel Pogrebnyak and Danny Guthrie remain on the books on large wages whilst Nigel Adkins has had to use younger inexperienced players to make up a big part of his team as well. The imbalance in the squad hasn't worked out for the club this season but they are still capable of a top six finish.

Simon Cox, Jamie Mackie, Alex Pearce and Glenn Murray are experienced Championship players who can help galvanise the team and take the younger players to the next level. Michael Hector, Jordan Obita, and Jake Taylor have stepped up a gear this season becoming established players in the first-team.

However you can't expect too much from a young side, and from a club who has had to cut their cloth accordingly in the last two years. The aim is of course to bounce back to the Premier League as soon as possible, but with so many big clubs in the Championship now all with the same ambitions it is an incredibly competitive league.

Three defeats in a row and six games without a win have seen Reading drop to 17th and Nigel Adkins is under pressure. He has worked wonders before with Scunthorpe United and Southampton but he faces a very difficult challenge with the Berkshire club. Speaking after the defeat to Bournemouth, Adkins eyed the game against Blackpool on Saturday as a must win match.

"It's results driven, we have to win games. We've got to keep the spirit right, and all we can affect now is the next game.

You find out more about people when things go against you. We'll reflect on this and get ready for the next one against Blackpool."

In a league that has already seen seven clubs change their managers this season, Adkins will know results will have to improve if he is to keep his job safe. 17th isn't good enough for Reading although they have had a fair share of injuries to deal with. The defence has leaked 23 goals in 13 games and they could do with the return of Anton Ferdinand from injury to add some experience to the backline.

Three out of their next four games are at home, and they will need to get points on the board. 'Keeper Adam Federici has acknowledged that the players need to be performing better.

"It's been a tough week, there is no hiding behind it, he boys are devastated.

We've had a long chat and things have got to improve. We've got to stand up and be counted for on Saturday because that can't keep happening. I've been through this before and if we can come out the other side then we will be stronger for it. At the minute we just have to concentrate on Saturday and stand up and be counted for."

Time is ticking for Nigel Adkins, and anything less than a win against basement side Blackpool on Saturday and the fans will begin to turn.


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