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Given their respective form, Reading supporters had little hope of claiming anything from Saturday’s trip to Middlesbrough, but the unexpected was on its way to being delivered for 84 minutes of the game at the Riverside Stadium.
However, despite holding a lead through an Andy Carroll goal, Reading shipped two goals during the closing stages, extending their winless streak in the second tier to five games.
Veljko Paunovic was naturally disappointed with the final outcome, even if he will feel that progress has been made ahead of two home fixtures versus Luton and Huddersfield Town.
Over the next two weeks, Paunovic will want to bring in new players and retain current ones as much as he wants a ninth win of the campaign, but everything needs to align for the Royals to make any significant headway.
Uncertainty remains over whether Carroll will stay at the club, the forward attracting interest from elsewhere upon the expiration of his contract having made a positive impression in his eight appearances since the middle of November.
With Carroll currently out of contention, Lucas Joao may be thrown straight into the Reading starting lineup after making his return from injury.
Mamadi Camara could deputise for Junior Hoilett down the right flank if the winger does not recover from the knock that he picked up at the weekend.
The game will likely come too soon for Michael Morrison, leaving Paunovic to stick with the rest of the team which started at Middlesbrough.
Luton pair Allan Campbell and Reece Burke will both be assessed after they suffered knocks during the meeting with Fulham.
Luke Berry and Henri Lansbury are among the alternatives if required, while Fred Onyedinma is also in contention for a recall.
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Reading possible starting lineup:
Southwood; Tetek, Holmes, Laurent, Bristow; Rinomhota, Drinkwater, Swift; Camara, Joao, Dele-Bashiru
Luton Town possible starting lineup:
Shea; Burke, Bradley, Naismith; Bree, Campbell, Mpanzu, Bell; Clark, Adebayo, Onyedinma