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A Royal Challenge

When Reading were promoted as Champions to the Premier League in April, unsurprisingly players and fans were celebrating an incredible campaign, made all the more impressive after their Play Off final defeat a season earlier.

Now, though, the Royals will be starting to prepare for their return to the top tier of the English game and starting to plan for how best to beat the drop.

A key component of the Madejski Stadium outfits success last season was the wealth of their attacking talents; Jobi McAnuff, Jem Karacan, Jimmy Kebe,  Noel Hunt, Simon Church, Adam Le Fondre and, from January, Jason Roberts.

This attacking unit was too much to handle for most defences in the Championship, in the Premier League, however, it won’t be the case. Brian Mc Dermott has been making the most of the new owners ambition and has signed Danny Guthrie from Newcastle and agreed a deal with Russian goal getter, Pavel Pogrebnyak.

These signings are both Premier League quality and represent the Royals commitment to scoring goals, whilst the forward line will find it more difficult to score in the top tier, you’d expect that the combination of experience and youthful drive to see the Berkshire club score goals.

The attitude of McDermott’s men was to defend from the front, undoubtedly a successful approach. The form of Kaspars Gorkss and Alex Pearce at centre half would also have given the forward players confidence in what they were doing.

Aerially they were dominant and made it a difficult afternoon for strikers, in the Premiership, they will have to be even better than they were last season.

Indeed, the positioning of the two will be vital, for if there is one thing that could be said about them, it is that they lack a yard of pace, something that top flight strikers will be able to exploit.

If Reading can produce resolute defensive form, though, then I’d expect their attacking threat will be more than enough to keep them in the Premier League.

Below is a report on The Royals promotion to the Premier League.