Fighting back is becoming second nature for Royals

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As worrying trends go, finding yourselves 3-1 down for the third time in four games is certainly high on that list.

Whilst high scoring games are usually great for any neutral possibly watching, it doesn't do the blood pressure of your fans much good. The only positive is that two of these games have seen great fight backs by the Royals.

However, what is most concerning is the continuing fragility of the defence. In the first half Norwich were able to penetrate Reading's back four with ease, even without Matt Mills perfectly weighted pass for Grant Holt to score Norwich's second goal.

It seems unfair to be too harsh on Federici for the recent inability of the team to keep a clean sheet. Often, first blame is put at the feet of the goalie, but it’s far too easy to blame Federici when the defenders in front of him are offering zero protection.

Breaking down the goals doesn't make for better viewing. Goal one, Khizanishvili appeared to stop running, leaving Martin with only Federici to beat. Goal two was the poorly weighted (or perfectly weighted depending on the team you wanted to win) back pass from Mills. Goal three, a free kick that went straight over a wall that failed to jump or attempt to head the ball away.

All were avoidable and just highlight the lack of concentration that the defenders seem to have. Limiting a team to only four shots on target is fairly impressive, allowing them to score three of them, not so.

Whilst a combination of a poor refereeing decision, reducing Norwich to ten men, an improved second half performance and strikers scoring saw a draw as the final outcome, it still doesn't gloss over that feeling of dread you get whenever the other team is on the attack.

As for where to go from here, back to basics is probably a good place to start, especially the simple 'if in doubt, hoof it out,' a lesson Matt Mills has hopefully learned now. It does still leave one small question, how many will Reading concede next game?

Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.

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