Meet the opposition | Reading

26th December 2022
First team
Joel Latibeaudiere Reading

As Swansea City prepare for their final away game of 2022 at Reading, we take a closer look at the Royals.

What’s their story?

Established in 1871, Reading is one of the oldest football clubs in England. Their passage into the Football League, however, did not come until 1920, having previously plied their trade in the Southern League. 

After many years in the lower tiers of the Football League, the Royals achieved top-flight status for the first time in 2006.

Reading’s first season in the Premier League was impressive, finishing in eighth position, an all-time high for the club. This, however, proved to be a false dawn with Steve Coppell’s side relegated back to the Championship the following season after finishing in 18th position.

The Royals returned to the Premier League elite in the 2011-12 season after winning the Championship title. However, their stint was again shortlived, returning to the second tier after just a single campaign, and they have remained in the Championship since.

The Royals equalled their best cup run in 2015, reaching the semi-finals of the FA Cup for the second time, unluckily losing to Arsenal 2-1 at Wembley Stadium. 

How’s their form?

Reading Team

Up and down. Reading have drawn just two Championship games all season meaning their campaign has almost had a feast or famine feel about it.

They have won two of their last three games, but have recorded just one other victory since October 1.

Their home form has played a big part in keeping them firmly in the play-off picture, with seven of their 10 victories this term coming at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.

Who’s the gaffer?

Reading manager Paul Ince

Former Manchester United and England midfielder Paul Ince is the man in charge at the Select Car Leasing Stadium, taking the reins following the dismissal of Veljko Paunovic in February. 

Ince, won a glut of trophies as a player, including two Premier League titles and two FA Cups with Manchester United.

He also played for West Ham, Inter Milan, Liverpool, Middlesbrough and Wolves before hanging up his boots.

During his coaching career the former England international had previously had spells in charge of Blackburn Rovers, Blackpool, Macclesfield Town and MK Dons, winning the Football League Trophy with the latter in 2008.

Who's the captain? 

Andy Yiadom

Ghana international Andy Yiadom is the skipper for the Royals this season.

The fans' player of the season for the 2021-22 campaign Yiadom, who once came close to a move to the Swans in 2017, has made 153 appearances for the Royals since joining as a free agent in 2018.

After initially representing England at ‘C’ level in 2015, Holloway-born Yiadom switched allegiance to Ghana, the country of his parents' birth, making his debut and winning the first of 26 caps in a 1-0 African Nations Cup defeat to Egypt in 2017.

Who are the key men?

Lucas Joao

The son of manager Paul, Tom Ince has provided a creative spark for the Royals this season, contributing five goals and three assists.

Having joined initially on loan in the January 2022 transfer window, Ince made the permanent move to the Select Car Leasing Stadium in the summer, after his release from Stoke City. 

Another with no shortage of experience, Ince has previously featured for Derby County, Stoke, Luton, Huddersfield, Nottingham Forest, Hull City, Crystal Palace and Blackpool; scoring 31 goals in 100 games for the latter.

Portuguese-born striker Lucas João is another seasoned campaigner in the Championship having featured for Sheffield Wednesday, Blackburn and Reading since moving from his homeland.

Last year's top scorer for the Royals, João is joint-top of the charts with five goals to his name so far this season and has 43 in 101 appearances in total since his undisclosed move from the Owls in 2019. 

An international at every level with Portugal, João recently switched allegiances to African nation Angola and was named in summer squads against Guinea Bissau and Equitorial Guinea, where he made his debut as a second-half substitute.

At the back Reading-born Scottish defender Tom McIntyre has been a reliable presence, with the 24-year-old academy product having nailed down a regular starting spot over the last 11 months.

He scored a dramatic late equaliser against the Swans in Berkshire back in April, while he has netted twice so far this term.

McIntyre made his debut against Rotherham during the 2018-19 season, and has been among the young players to make the most of some of the financial issues that have affected the club over recent seasons by stepping up and impressing at senior level.