Mark Bowen has previously come out and said that reaching the play-offs is an aim of his this season.

Royals currently sit 16th but sit nine points off of the top six, with a game in hand, so stranger things have happened.

With the transfer window in full flow; we look at the stats and see what Reading need to do going forward, and whether that means bringing someone in.

The main focus will be on the striking department, with 15 teams having scored more goals than the Royals this season.

The clubs top scorer so far this season is George Puscas with seven league goals, followed closely by Yakou Meite on six, and John Swift and Lucas Joao on five.

This stat alone is promising, showing that we have players that can score all over the pitch.

We have had 15 different goal scorers so far in all competitions, 12 in the league.

However there is a distinct lack of goals in general this season, with only Derby County scoring less than us in the top 15 teams.

Over the last five seasons, the lowest amount of goals scored by a team in the playoffs was 56 by Huddersfield Town in the 2016/17 season.

We are currently on track to score 58, which is lower than any playoff team bar that Huddersfield Town team over the last five years.

However, there is one saving grace, our defending.

Reading have conceded just 31 goals this season, the joint seventh best so far this season, leaving them on track to concede just 53 this season.

Last year West Brom reached the playoffs having conceded 62, and in three of the last five seasons teams have reached the playoffs having conceded more goals than we are on track to do.

That clearly suggests that as long as Reading keep shutting teams out, their rate of goals should not be too much of an issue.

Having said that, with Joao injured and Puscas misfiring, bringing in extra firepower could be required.

Over the last five seasons, the lowest top-scorer for a top six club was David Nugent with eight in 2015/16, but the average number of goals scored by the top six’s top scorer in the last five years is 18 goals, meaning someone has got to step up for Reading.

With Bowen preferring to play with just one upfront, Baldock will not thrive.

Although a very intelligent striker, the former Brighton striker will not suddenly grow and become an ideal target man.

Therefore, surely the manager will need to invest in a striker to fit his system, such as a Glenn Murray, or change the way he plays to possibly incorporate both Baldock and Puscas to play as a two.

Baldock’s most productive year was 2016/17, the year Brighton got promoted to the Premier League, in which he contributed 11 goals and his strike partner Murray scored 23.

The classic ‘little and large’ combination has worked wonders for Reading in the past, such as the 2013/14 season in which Pavel Pogrebnyak and Adam Le Fondre contributed 28 goals between them, so why not again?

Ultimately after two consecutive 20th placed finishes; anywhere above 16th should be classed as a positive season and the play-offs should not be the be-all and-end-all for the side.

With the money we spent in the summer and the good form experienced over the last few months, why should we not dream?