After a turbulent close season in which 14 new players walked through the door, a trip to the seaside was to be the first stop on a long journey spanning the next 10 months.

Conceding early against the Tangerines, a 1-0 defeat to Blackpool on the opening day signalled a potentially challenging season ahead of the Royals, although a promising second half performance gave the travelling fans hope that it would be a competitive season.


Back on home turf the week after, an M4 Derby with Cardiff City marked the return of the prodigal son: Shane Long. After a decade away in the Premier Legue, the Irishman returned to where it all started in 2005, and it could not have gone much better. 

Falling behind in the fourth minute, Curtis Nelson took down Tom Ince in the box and the stage was set for a hero. Long stepped up and coolly converted the penalty to draw the teams level. Ince grabbed his first goal of the season in the second half and Paul Ince had picked up his first win as full-time Reading manager.

A much-changed team were knocked out of the Carabao Cup to Stevenage before a long trip to South Yorkshire for what was potentially one of the worst halves of football from a Reading side.

Defensively the team were all at sea at Rotherham United, winners of the League One play-offs the year before, put four past Reading in the opening 45 minutes.

The tie was over before the break, with both sides accepting their lot, as the team crashed back to Earth with a bang.

But from one extreme to another, just three days later Reading put in one of the best club performances in years, swatting a table-topping Blackburn Rovers side away with ease.

Tom McIntyre, Junior Hoilett and Lucas Joao helped the Royals cruise to a 3-0 win and kick-start a run of three successive wins without conceding.

Middlesbrough, struggling at the foot of the table under Chris Wilder, lost 1-0 live on Sky Sports before almost 1,500 Royals travelled to South London on Bank Holiday weekend.

Naby Sarr's debut header earned a 1-0 win over Millwall, the club's first win at the Den since 2012, and lifted the team to the top of the Championship.

August ended as it had began, with defeat on the road.

Sheffield United put another four past Reading at Bramall Lane but they still sat in the top six come the end of August.


Continuing the new month as inconsistently as the previous one, Reading won against both Stoke City and Wigan Athletic in Septemer, but were taught a footballing lesson by newly-promoted Sunderland in a 3-0 home defeat.

Marking the first appearances for Amadou Mbengue and Andy Carroll, Ince's squad was complete by the time relegation-threatened Huddersfield Ton visited Berkshire in October.


Terriers boss Mark Fotheringham lost his first game in charge, with Reading comfortably putting three past the previous season's losing play-off finalists.

Newly relegated Norwich City could only take a point from their trip to Berkshire, leaving the side in third ahead of a mouth-watering clash with Queens Park Rangers.

Mick Beale's R's were sat one point behind Reading heading into the tie at Loftus Road, with almost 2,000 supporters travelling to West London on a Friday night.

For all of three minute's, Carroll's penalty put the Royals top of the table once again.

However Lyndon Dykes grabbed himself a brace to burst the bubble and move above Reading in the table.

The first of three successive losses, West Brom and Swansea City earned maximums before a 2-0 win over Bristol City cooled the fears.

Heading to runaway leaders Burnley with little more than hope over expectation, Ince lobbed Reading into a second half lead.

Manuel benson restored parity shortly after, before referee Jeremy Simpson waved away appeals for a stonewall penalty on Ince deep into injury-time.

As champions tend to, Vincent Kompany's men found a way to win, breaking Reading hearts in the 94th minute.