Madejski Stadium, Behind East Stand

Fans’ Forum with Paul Clement Thursday 6th September

Our AGM took place in the Princess Suite at the Madejski Stadium on Thursday 6th September and was followed by our first Fans’ Forum of the season with guest Paul Clement. There were many questions put to Paul from the 150 or so members in the audience, in what was his first fans’ forum. A summary can be seen below.

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The international break? You do want to win the game before but it’s not all doom and gloom. There’s only 6 players away so we had 11-a-side match today. McCleary and Harriott were involved. Obita is in the US working on his knee with a strengthening coach.

Performances so far? The margins are fine, single goal defeats. Only Bolton and Sheff Weds were disappointing. First half against Derby probably the best we’ve played so far.

Systems? We’re looking for consistency, clarity, not constantly changing tactics. 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1 is the route for me – some games we might need the extra midfielder. Ideally we’d like to defend higher but in the Championship it goes back to front so quickly so you have to defend long balls. A lot of very direct play against us. We’re trying to get a balance. I don’t want to be a team that lumps it back to front.

Bringing young players in? You need to be dominating games at U23 level first. Some are starting to do the things you need to in order to get in first team.

Transfers in? Saeid Ezatolahi is away with the Iranian national team at the moment. He will be a big physical presence, 6ft 2ins, strong in the tackle. I’ve signed eight in this window. All the signings come in with my blessing. Some I’ve pushed for very strongly.

Transfers out? Liam Moore is staying, he’s signed a five year contract. The owner was determined not to sell. We’ll need the next two windows to get the right blend and to trim the squad. But it is better to have more than less!

Morale? We’ve got a good team spirit, a strong culture in the dressing room. The players are suffering like you’re suffering as fans right now. The group has potential to improve. I think when we win a couple of games there will be a momentum shift.

Final words?  Thanks for giving me a relatively easy time tonight! I understand your frustrations but you can be a big help when you get behind the players. Thank you for your support – we want to turn the corner and give you something to be proud of.