By Jack Simpson
Reading have started this season with a flourish and are in fourth place in the Championship after 16 games.
During that time that have earned 28 points, winning eight and drawing four. It’s a far cry from the side that finished 19th and 17th respectively for the past two seasons.
Some of this success can be attributed to the tough decisions that Reading Thai’s owners took at the end of last season. They sacked manager Brian McDermott and replaced him with the largely inexperienced Jaap Stam in a tough league.
The decision to appoint Stam was questioned by many in the media, the best example coming from Talksport’s Ian Abrahams who said to getreading.co.uk: “I like Reading – I have nothing against Reading, it was nothing personal. I just had to pick three teams to go down and I thought Jaap Stam has never managed here before and this is a tough league.”
The football being played under Stam has been brilliant to watch, with performances such as the recent 3-0 win against Wigan standing out.
It is not just McCleary who’s said good things about Jaap Stam, defender Liam Moore has also said that confidence from the squad is high.
The decision to appoint Brian Tevreden as director of football has also been an inspiring one, with the Dutchman playing his part in bringing 11 new players over the summer.
The best has arguably been John Swift, the midfielder signed on a free has been fantastic, with the former Chelsea man scoring four goals and three assists in 16 appearances.
After completing the signing of Swift, Tevreden said in an interview with getreading journalist Charles Watts that “Swift signing was a great feeling.”
These decisions have made for an enjoyable season so far for Reading fans, however tough fixtures coming up against Leeds, Sheffield Wednesday and Fulham will really test the mettle of this resurgent side.