It’s been a frustrating start for Jaap Stam’s men following their third-place finish last season hasn’t it?
Yes, it has been a little bit topsy-turvy. The club bought in seven new players over the transfer window so it’s going to take a while for them all to gel, and they still lack an out-and-out goal-scorer. They’ve got plenty of options in attack, plenty of wingers with skill and trickery but no end product, which was the story of last weekend when they lost to Bristol City. The cynic in me would say that’s going to be the story of the entire season, but it’s still early days and I don’t think the panic button needs to be touched just yet. Traditionally, Reading don’t start off the season too well and the late finish last term wouldn’t have helped, but I think once they do hit their stride they will really get going.
Of those seven signings, who has caught your eye?
I’d say Vito Mannone. Though he hasn’t had a lot to do, he has been very solid and when he has been called upon. He’s not the biggest, but he’s got a good leap on him and is a reassuring presence at the back. On his day, Mo Barrow looks like he could be a real handful, too. He’s got pace to burn and I think the only trait letting him down is his end product, but that’s something he’ll be looking to work on.
What should Brentford expect in terms of the way Reading set up?
That’s an interesting one as they have so much depth in midfield and on the wing. Stam has admitted that he wants to keep the players, opposition and fans guessing but it will most likely be that they line up in a 3-5-2 formation. I think what you can expect is that Reading will maintain possession, try to frustrate Brentford and, ultimately, take advantage when they are worn down, in the Dutch style that Stam has implemented over the last year.
What are you expecting from Brentford?
Brentford and Reading have had some very good games in the past, not least last season with Reading’s 3-2 home win earlier this year and the Bees’ 4-1 victory in September 2016. I remember from last season that Brentford were one of the best opponents, more for the fact that they came and had a go rather than shutting up shop. I’m expecting another open game and I think it’ll suit Reading, as, with teams that come at them, they don’t have to do so much work in breaking them down.
If you could bring one Brentford player to the Madejski who would it be?
I’d go for Sergi Canós – he’s caused Reading a lot of problems in the past and, although they do have plenty of similar players, I think he’d no doubt fit in.
What do you think the score will be on Saturday?
I think we’ll see a few goals - 2-2.
Pick up a copy of BEES this weekend for the full interview with Jonathan Low, on sale around Griffin Park for just £3.50.