At Reading, you could be forgiven, nothing from Opta

You could be forgiven for thinking we're half way through the season if you were to be reading some of the comments, on this site and social media. Sure, I understand but I also like to think that we can look at the bigger picture.

First, we're two games into the season and I know nobody wants to read this, but the team that won the Championship last season didn't have any points. And yes, I know they had a different manager. Different teams have different managers.

And there are more things I could peddle out but the bottom line is that the manager has had two games of his first season with a pre-season. And all of those that are suggesting the manager has to go, could be right that he can't do it, but suggesting it now is an overreaction because there is no way to know.

The very least we should be able to do is support the team and manager when you consider the above. If only until Christmas or some time in the future when it wont be considered an overreaction.

At Reading

And this isn't levelled at the away support that tonight will be the best away support in the League as they are week in, week out. And I so hope for a result tonight that, if only for a few days, will stop all the comments about the manager.

And if we do win tonight, I know it will only silence his critics for a few days and I know he could win five on the bounce, lose the next and they will be out again, but it's just the winning feeling I'd like again. Because I sort of accept that even if we do go up this season, we're no longer that Club of stature that for most of my life we were.

We can get that back. If we've seen anything over the past 25 years it's that money can buy you whatever you want in this game, but without those huge sums of money where literally £50 million for a player is a drop in the ocean, you also need to have football people throughout the Club and we don't have that at the moment.

But once again, if we've learnt anything over recent years, it's that things change.

The players

So, I get to the third banging the drum section of the post and it's the players and I don't know how many times I've written this next part, but we can't start with Gabby. I've tried to engage with Opta to find out how many times we have won a match with Gabby starting but they wont tell me. We have to start with someone that we can develop with.

We're in the Championship and to move forward, we have to utilise what we have at the Club that can move forward with us. Gabby can't and he's had plenty of chances. He should be let go at the end of this season with a pat on the back and the ability to earn a final pay day. Hell, let him go now for nothing if is speeds up the process because I can't see us going up with him involved or near the team.

This is why we have to start with Green, if he is able to play and if he isn't, it's why we have to start with Hogan up top by himself and someone else instead of Gabby. Gabby is a distraction and if you play with him, it doesn't matter that everyone else is at 100%, the team isn't. Bruce has to learn not only this, but that Gabby has to be as far away from everyone that matters, if he is to succeed at Aston Villa past October.

But all that aside, the most important thing tonight is that the players do give 100%, that they are not frightened to play the ball in the channel or into space if it means other things open up. Tonight, really is about winning at all costs because if we don't, it's not going to be pretty.

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