Reading have a new manager and a much changed team, so they are very much an unknown quantity – however, I imagine any side with Jaap Stam in charge will give their all, so, the Mags can expect a battle.

Reading have been known to play some nice football with some very decent players, but they sold  last season’s top scorer Nick Blackman to Derby (in January) and lost real quality when Matej Vydra returned to Watford at the end of his loan spell.

Stam tried to bring in class in the shape of former dutch international Rafael Van Der Vaart but failed and so far has brought in a bunch of players from foreign leagues who are more unknown quantities –let’s hope they have the same heart and quality as some of Newcastle’s less than successful imports in recent times.

What I do know is that they have a quality fullback in Wales’ Chris Gunther, tough but ageing ex mackem Paul McShane at centre back, former Forest midfielder Gareth McCleary has plenty of quality whilst much travelled ball winner Stephen Quinn never gives anything less than 100%. The Royals also have American international Danny Williams who is an excellent box to box athlete.

Up front they have signed the tall Yann Kermogant from Bournemouth who can be a real handful in the air and a youngster named Yakou Meite from PSG, of whom a lot is expected of.

I expect any side of Stam’s to be big and ballsy so I think it will be a tough one for The Mags.

Stating the obvious but yes we need to improve from the performance on Saturday.

One thing I do know is our support for NUFC, will have stirred every emotion you can think of over the seasons: delight, despair, happiness, anger and frustration and probably all destinations in between.

However, that is what we do, this is who we are – we need to get behind the lads and I know things will be looking a lot more positive by the same time next month.

In us we Trust (oh yeah and Rafa – goes without saying).

Keep the Faith.

Newcastle v Reading Match Betting:

All  Newcastle v Reading match betting HERE

Gayle to score first goal 9/2Newcastle to win 2-0 7/1 NUFC to win both halves 3/1

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