Mark Robins conceded that Barnsley got what they deserved from their trip to the Madjeski Stadium on Saturday....nothing!
The Tykes' boss lamented that his players failed to follow the game plan or carry out the basics in a humbling 3-0 defeat. He must be concerned at the ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ nature of a side that is so solid at Oakwell but is so poor on its travels.
This defeat leaves the Tykes with one point from a possible 12 away from home; which Robins will know is relegation form.
In truth, the Reds offered little in the first half at Reading and will have considered themselves fortunate in going in at the break still at 0-0. However, Barnsley must have thought it was going to be their day when on the hour Zurab Khizanishvili was sent off following a second yellow card.
This galvanised the home side and on 78 minutes the dangerous Jimmy Kebe’s bullet header put the Royals ahead. There was no response from the Tykes and in time added on Reading completed the rout.
Ian Harte struck a brilliant free kick on 91 minutes to make it 2-0 and two minutes later a mazy run and excellent finish from Hal Robson-Kanu sent the Reading faithful home in raptures.
With an away trip to Scunthorpe United on Tuesday, Robins' only consolation is that his side have a quick opportunity to put things right and, hopefully, improve on the disjointed display that he witnessed at Reading.
Football is as much a game played in the mind as with the feet and the mental strength and
Tykes fans must hope that those who travel to Glanford Park on Tuesday will see a more focused and better drilled side than that witnessed at Reading.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.