Veljko Paunovic delivers verdict on Swansea City ahead of Reading FC clash

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Veljko Paunovic delivers verdict on Swansea City ahead of Reading FC clash
© Provided by Football League World Championship – Derby County v Reading

Reading manager Veljko Paunovic believes today’s opponents Swansea City are ‘vulnerable’ despite labelling them as a ‘good side’, as he spoke to the Royals’ media team ahead of this clash.

After a slow start to their campaign, winning just one of their opening eight league games of 2021/22, the Swans have shown promising signs in recent months as they continue to adapt to manager Russell Martin’s passing philosophy.

They have been boosted by their 2-0 away win in midweek against Barnsley going into today’s tie, after being frustrated for much of the game at Oakwell; they were desperate to respond to their heavy defeat at Bournemouth just before the international break, and frustrating home draw against Blackpool last weekend.

Whilst the South Wales outfit currently sit in ninth position their win against the Tykes, Paunovic’s side remain just two points above the relegation zone after a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United on Tuesday evening.

Although they were undone by a lapse of concentration in the end, it was their lack of inspiration going forward that proved to be problematic for the Berkshire club in a game that severely lacked quality and urgency.

They will be the underdogs on paper as they make the trip to the Swansea.com Stadium, but the strugglers’ boss Paunovic has cited their opponents’ inconsistency and vulnerability as two reasons for hope for his side in this weekend’s showdown.

He said: “Swansea are a team with a new coach and style this year, and they are building their shape.

“They haven’t been very consistent, but they are a good team and they have experienced players.

“Like every team in this league, they are good, but they are also vulnerable.”

The Verdict:

As Reading have already shown against Fulham this season, they can fight against adversity and pick up a shock away win every now and then. And this is why they should be full of hope as 3pm approaches.

In August or September, the Royals may have been expected to win a point or three from this tie considering Martin’s side are still in transition and they have the likes of Baba Rahman, Scott Dann, John Swift and Danny Drinkwater at their disposal.

But the midweek game against the Blades must have been a real blow, because they were devoid of ideas and creativity and didn’t show anywhere near enough quality across the pitch to win a point, let alone all three.

It is harsh from Paunovic to cite the Swans’ ‘inconsistency’ though because they have gone unbeaten in seven of their last nine league games and have won five of these fixtures, a run of form his team could only dream of at this stage.

Still, it’s set to be an interesting tie and it will be fascinating to see how the likes of Liam Moore and Scott Dann can cope with Joel Piroe and Jamie Paterson, whilst also trying to find their own attacking rhythm away from home.

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