Alf bids to end McDermott men’s big slump

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READING have flattered to deceive in the Championship this season.

Last season’s beaten Promotion Play-off finalists, picked up four points from their opening two games but since beating big-spending Leicester in their first away game of the season the Royals have fallen at the first hurdle of the Carling Cup against League One outfit Charlton and lost five successive league games.

The result is that they share a bottom-three spot with Rovers, who visit the Madejski Stadium tomorrow in search of their first ever win at the ground.

The Royals go into tomorow’s game on the back of a 2-0 home defeat by fellow strugglers.

Reading boss Brian McDermott was as frustrated as the fans as the Royals failed to get a single shot on target.

The game marked the debut of former Rotherham hot-shot Adam Le Fondre, who cost them an initial £300,000 last month.

Le Fondre will be looking for a much better service than he received last weekend. The forner Millers’ striker has a tough act to fellow with Shane Long, the man he has been brought in to replace, having scored 26 goals for the Royals last season - a tally which earned him a big-money move to West Bromwich Albion.

Reading also picked up around £5m for former Rovers’ defender Matt Mills.

Despite banking around £11m for the pair, the Royals haven’t been in a hurry to splash the cash and apart from Le Fondre the only other new faces at the club are Southampton’s Joseph Mills, who spent much of last season on loan at the Keepmoat Stadium and QPR’s Kaspars Gorkss. The younger brother of Matt, Mills was one of the few players to impress against the Hornets on his debut.