After being hit with the two point deduction at the end of February, nobody could have complained had the players downed tools and accepted their fate of relegation to League Two.

But the staff, players and supporters aren’t like that at Reading. It was a fresh challenge, and one taken head on.

More than 1,400 supporters made the mammoth trip to Carlisle for the first match of the month, with Carlisle boss Paul Simpson’s words still ringing in their ears.

‘It’s not everyone who has broken the rules, they have,’ said the former Oxford United favourite, admitting to mind games in his post-match comments.

They certainly didn’t work, adding fuel to Reading’s fire and giving extra motivation for what was a convincing 3-1 win at Brunton Park to reward all those who had travelled up.

Supporters could see that the squad were fighting for the badge, and crowds failed to fall below 15,000 for the remaining home matches.

Wycombe Wanderers made the short hop for the Berks-Bucks Derby and netted a late penalty to win 2-1 in a close-fought clash.

Promotion-chasing Derby County won by the same scoreline at Pride Park in midweek, although they certainly had a helping hand from the officials on the night with some blatantly wrong calls.

March 13 proved another key date in the season, with news breaking that Wycombe Wanderers had agreed to purchase Reading’s state-of-the-art Bearwood training ground.

Very obviously not going down well with supporters, hundreds protested outside Adam’s Park against the purchase and within a week the deal appeared dead in the water.

The month ended with back-to-back home wins and clean sheets, against Northampton Town and Cambridge United, which continued to edge Ruben Selles’ side toward the finishing line of survival.

There was some cautious optimism too after the club confirmed that they had entered a period of ‘exclusive negotiations’ with an unnamed party for a takeover. 

These remain ongoing at the time of writing, but the club confirmed it expected talks to last until ‘mid-May’ at the earliest.