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Reading arrive on the new Griffin Park pitch seeking their first Championship win of the season.

The Royals’ winless run follows their disappointing end to the last campaign, when their final day victory at Derby, which helped us into the play-offs, was their first three-pointer in 10 league matches.

So far this term, they have drawn three and lost one of their opening fixtures.

They began with a 2-1 defeat at Birmingham, the winner coming from our former loan player Jon Toral, and followed that up by holding Leeds to a goalless draw.

They then earned a 1-1 draw at Sheffield Wednesday before another Madejski Stadium stalemate followed – this time against promoted MK Dons.

However, like last season, they have so far found cup football more to their liking and now entertain Everton in the third round of the Capital One Cup after wins at Colchester (1-0) and Portsmouth (2-1).

This follows their run to last season’s FA Cup semi-finals where they were beaten 2-1 after by Arsenal at Wembley.

Reading are in their third consecutive season in the Championship – and seventh in the last eight years – and have been in the top two divisions since pipping us to promotion in 2002.

They have spent three seasons in the Premier League and earned their highest finish of eighth in 2006/07 with a squad featuring ex-Bees Ivar Ingimarsson, who was ever-present, Steve Sidwell, Ibrahima Sonko, Stephen Hunt and Sam Sodje and managed by former Brentford boss Steve Coppell.


Brentford did the double over Reading last season for the first time since the 1990/91 campaign.

The Bees moved up to 10th in the table with a 3-1 win in TW8 with first half goals from Jota and Alex Pritchard putting us in control.

Although ex-Bees loan player Simon Cox pulled one back soon after half-time, Jonathan Douglas clinched our second home win in successive games and gained some measure of revenge for our agonising draw in 2002 on their previous visit.

Our visit to the Madejski Stadium was our penultimate game of the season and an early goal from Alan Judge followed by the rare sight of a defender scoring from a corner – James Tarkowski the man on target – took our play-off push to the final game against Wigan a week later.


Steve Clarke has been in charge of Reading since December last year, having replaced Nigel Adkins.

It is the latest step in management for the 51-year-old former Scotland international right-back, who has worked with some of the biggest clubs in the country.

After starting his playing career at St Mirren, he moved to Chelsea where he spent 11 years, played more than 400 games and won the Cup Winners’ Cup, FA Cup and League Cup.

Once he had retired as a player, he moved into management becoming Ruud Gullit’s assistant at Newcastle and having a brief spell as caretaker boss.

He then spent four years in a similar role at Chelsea working to Jose Mourinho, as the side won two Premier League titles, and Avram Grant before moving to West Ham where he worked alongside Gianfranco Zola.

Clarke then became Kenny Dalglish’s assistant at Liverpool before finally landing the top job for himself at West Brom in the summer of 2012.

He led the club to their best Premier League finish of eighth but left The Hawthorns midway through the following season.



Reading manager Steve Clarke has told his club’s website that he expects a tough test at Griffin Park this Saturday.

“Brentford had a fantastic season last year,” he said. “They have changed their manager, but I’ve watched them play and they haven’t changed their style from last season too much.

“They are still very open and very expansive, so I think you can expect an open game.  It’s a difficult game to go there, we have to go with a positive frame of mind and try and get a first win on the board.

“I think our supporters are as desperate as we are to see a first league win so hopefully we can give them something to shout about on Saturday night.”

You can also hear the views of The Tilehurst End crew on the week’s Beesotted podcast (above)- feeling that Reading’s tight defence may enable them to nick a result this weekend.


Reading have kept a fairly settled side so far this season with seven players starting all four of their Championship games and four men beginning three of them.

Four of the ever-presents are summer signings – Jonathan Bond (goalkeeper) Republic of Ireland internationals Paul McShane (defender) and Stephen Quinn (midfielder) and former Fulham striker Orlando Sa.

The others are defenders Anton Ferdinand and Chris Gunter along with midfielder Oliver Norwood.

Simon Cox (mentioned earlier) is still on the books and has been a regular substitute but one man we won’t be seeing is striker Pavel Pogrebnyak, who joined Dynamo Moscow on Thursday.

There could be more new names in the starting line-up as this week the Royals have been linked with Chelsea duo Nathaniel Chalobah, the midfielder who was on loan to them last season, and Brazilian winger Lucas Piazon.



Drinking in Brentford

For Reading fans coming to the game, you are probably aware there plenty of pub options pre-match and all are most welcoming. Colours are fine and there is no ‘bouncer culture’ on the doors of our boozers – not yet anyway. All fans are welcome and most fans usually cite Brentford as their favourite away-day which we’re quite proud of.

As is etched in common folklore , there were four pubs around the ground until fairly recently – unfortunately one closed down to leave only three now. The Griffin is closest to the away end (like 30 secs walk) and is very popular with away fans – but also very, very busy. The New Inn is on the other side is also popular with away fans. The Princess Royal is the other option (The Royal Oak was the one that closed down).

Other pubs slightly further afield for the more creative amongst you include (and this is by no means a definitive list) the  … The Globe (Windmill Rd) is a very friendly pub indeed. The other boozer is The Lord Nelson (Enfield Rd)  – both incredibly friendly and cosy away-friendly pubs and 30 seconds walk from each other .. frequented by ‘away fans in the know’. The Plough (Northfields Ave – 1 minute walk from the tube) in Northfields is a decent stop-off if you are coming by tube to Northfields before making your way down to the ground (normally stopping off at The Globe and Lord Nelson en route on the Northfields pub crawl).

Easily the best way to Brentford for Reading fans is to go from Paddington to Ealing Broadway and then get the 65 bus to the ground – or get the E2 or E3 to Northfields, which is preferred by fans in the know as it has a decent pub crawl run on the way to the ground (Plough, Lord Nelson, Globe). South Ealing, on the 65 route, has one posh pub en route that doesn’t really like football fans so we won’t even give it a mention here. It’s 20 mins walk from either South Ealing OR Northfields to the ground or you can get the E2 bus from Northfields or 65 bus from South Ealing for the short five-minute journey.

For ale head to the Magpie and Crown pub on Brentford High Street. The Royal Horseguardsman can probably hold 15 of you at a push. The Brewery Tap is a cosy boozer by the river. And if you are super adventurous, get off at Kew Bridge and visit the brand new boozer One Over the Ait right on the river – beside the bridge. Great views over The Thames. It’s around 15 mins walk to the ground from here.

There are loads more too. A quick Google search and you’ll find them all. There are many many more too if you have a look around.

Parking is pretty easy away from the ground going up towards and over the A4 Great West Rd (ie. North) via Ealing Rd or Windmill Rd.