READING STARTED THE season very well, although they have had a little dip in results over recent weeks. I think this follows on from the campaign they enjoyed last term when they were so impressive and won the league by such a big margin, churning out win after win.
Their strength has been a consistency in the team, generally very much a 4-4-2 side with Sidwell and Harper driving it from midfield. They also have options up front - despite the injury problem with Lita - and Doyle is arguably the best find for quite some time with the goals he has scored.
Even though I mentioned a dip, Reading's last four games in the Premiership have been against Arsenal, Chelsea, Portsmouth and Liverpool. Everybody would find that difficult and overall I believe they will be delighted with the start they have recorded. Now they are approaching the middle part of the season coming towards the busy December and it is about whether they can sustain the level they have set for themselves.
They look a very promising side.
I know Steve Coppell and did mark him a few times during our playing days - one of my first games was against Manchester United and he was a very tough opponent. As a manager he has shown himself to be a very calm and collected individual and he was always regarded as a very bright, forward-thinking man who was involved at the PFA from a young age.
He is at the stage now of being a very experienced manager and there could be few better positioned to take on the challenge of the Premiership with such a young, fresh and talented group of players after an impressive promotion.
We have been to Reading twice in pre-season over recent years and both times it has been a quality fixture. It is a wonderful stadium, the pitch is good and we enjoyed going there.
Now it is serious business, they are at home and wanting to get back to winning ways, but it is an away game we've got to get something from. We were disappointed with the performance at Watford, we had more chances but they had the better ones.
On the back of three good results at home, it is an opportunity to travel away and hopefully continue with our good form.
Chris Hughton looks ahead to the Premiership encounter against Reading at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday...