Clement searching for first win of campaign at Preston North End this weekend

While Preston's start to the Championship season has not been the best, Reading have had far more of a struggle.

Friday, 14th September 2018, 11:00 am

The Royals make the trip to Deepdale without a league win to their name this campaign.

Two draws is as good as it has got and they are currently propping up the division.

For a side which reached the play-off final in 2017 and were penalty kicks away from a Premier League place, it has been a rough 15 months.

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Reading striker Jon Dadi Bodvarsson
Reading striker Jon Dadi Bodvarsson

Last season they finished 20th position, Reading still in a relegation dogfight until the last couple of games.

They changed manager last March, Paul Clement brought in to replace Japp Stam.

Clement accepts the start to the season has not been good enough and the visit to Preston represents the start of an important period.

“Over the six league games we are where we are because we haven’t been good enough,” said Clement, who previously managed Derby and Swansea.

“It’s as simple as that. We have got to find a way to stop this.

“I take responsibility, it is normal that the manager does that.

“I have a lot of control over a lot of situations – the way we train, the way we prepare, the tactics, the team. I have to take a lot of responsibility.

“I’ve asked the players to do the same and to be honest in the reflection of themselves, whether they are doing as well as they can.

“I always reflect very honestly after games the way the team has done and I feed back to them in that way and that process will continue.”

Reading’s last game before the international break saw them beaten 2-1 at home by Sheffield Wednesday.

They went 1-0 down to an early goal from former PNE loanee Adam Reach, with the visitors adding a second a minute into the second half.

Liam Moore reduced the deficit but Clement’s men were unable to find a leveller.

The Royals boss felt his side went into ‘panic mode’ when chasing an equaliser.

Said Clement: “I felt after that goal what started to happen was you start doing things that are just not right.

“It was panic mode. With the changes I made, the ones that came on weren’t giants.

“I thought we ended up being a bit reckless and not playing to the strengths of the individuals.

“I think at times we are our own worst enemy.”

Reading did quite a bit of incoming business during the summer, John O’Shea and David Meyler bringing plenty of experience with them.

Their striker options were boosted by the arrivals of Sam Baldock from Brighton and Marc McNulty from Coventry.

Reading’s leading scorer is Jon Dadi Bodvarsson with three goals in four starts and one substitute appearance.

Bodvarsson missed the Sheffield Wednesday game with a stomach bug.

He played for Iceland in their defeat to Belgium on Tuesday night.

This week, Reading named Gianluca Nani as the club’s new sporting director, Brian Tevreden having left the role to take a job in Belgium.