Royals strikers still searching for the goal-den touch

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Some runs of form are harder to end than others. It seems much easier to convert three wins in a row into four or five, or for your star striker to add to an ever increasing goal tally.

However, turning a run of draws that now spans two months into wins seems like a monumental task for Reading. What obviously isn’t helping is the fact that our strikers have very much lost their scoring touch.

There is probably no other position on the field that is as confidence related as strikers. When they are high on confidence it seems no team can stop them, and when they haven’t scored in a few games, that little bit of luck (the one that means a ball hitting the post re-bounds over the line instead of out for a goal kick) seems missing.

Whilst the defensive problems that plagued the early part of November now seem behind us, the weakness in front of goal remains. Shane Long was again a threat for most of Saturday’s game, yet still couldn’t convert chances that often seemed easier to score than miss.

He may help the team with his all round play, but right now we need players in the side that can score.

Switching to players with limited experience isn’t always wise, but it seems we are running out of options, especially as our strikers (notably Long and Church) are losing confidence fast.

Maybe allowing Long a break could help, or introducing him later in the game when the opposition tire. He has currently had more shots than any other Reading player, yet still has not found the back of the net regularly this season.

As with previous games, the chances are there, and whilst we may be getting closer to the goal, sadly you don’t get bonus points for nearly scoring, and without something changing fast its hard to see where goals will come from.

All without that change it’s hard to see how we will not continue to slide down the table. The only hope we have is that Santa brings a striker ready for January (or a little bit of luck).

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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Shane Long

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