Everton vs. Reading: Q&A with The Tilehurst End

Everton wasted numerous chances to kil offl the game at Madejski Stadium - Jan Kruger

We spoke to Dan from Reading blog 'The Tilehurst End' earlier in the year, and we caught up with him again for Saturday's game at Goodison Park.

We had the pleasure of chatting with Dan from our fellow SB Nation blog 'The Tilehurst End' in November, and we talked again ahead of Saturday's game between Everton and Reading.

RBM - Is Brian McDermott's position as manager under threat? Does he still have the backing of the fans?

TTE - Not really, though some would probably downgrade his Christmas present from the £50 range to the £35 or so bracket based on last week's performance against Wigan.

While we've struggled all season it's not really been his fault as he's got arguably the weakest squad in this league so to have us even in with a chance of survival at the 27 game mark is a credit to him.

He's certainly made a few mistakes this year but that can't erase the fantastic work he's done since taking the job back in the early days of 2010.

RBM - Reading have three home games coming up against teams around them in the table. Will this be their turning point?

TTE - Absolutely and despite what any PR nonsense comes out from the manager, these are must win games. After the utter capitulation against Wigan the team needs to show they can handle the pressure of these big games and if they can't beat Aston Villa, QPR or Southampton at home then sadly we deserve to go down.

RBM - What are the positions of need on this squad? Were those deficiencies addressed during the transfer window?

TTE - We certainly needed midfield reinforcements and that was looked at by buying Hope Akpan, Nick Blackman and Daniel Carrico. Sadly Carrico and Blackman have only made one start each but Akpan looks a really shrewd signing, with the former Crawley man already having three assists to his name.

We also needed a bit more experience in the back four and Stephen Kelly has performed well since arriving from Fulham.

I still feel we're lacking up front though and Pavel Pogrebnyak's three game ban leaves us a bit short, especially with regards to someone able to play the lone striker in a 4-5-1 formation.

RBM - Who will be the players to watch on both sides on Saturday?

TTE - Who shouldn't we watch out for on Everton's side is my question! You have quality across the pitch whether it's Jelavic in front of goal, Pienaar and Fellaini in the middle or even Baines marauding down the flank. Safe to say we're in for a tough time at the weekend.

From Reading's perspective it'll be up to the wingers to be on top form this weekend. Jimmy Kebe can be lethal on his day while Jobi McAnuff is also capable of hurting teams. If they get some space look for Adam Le Fondre to be on the end of things and as one of the league's leading scorers he's certainly our main danger man in front of goal.

RBM - And finally, how about a score prediction?

TTE - I can't see us winning this one and in truth don't think we'll even get a point so I'll say 2-1 to Everton with my head and 2-2 with my heart!

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