Well it looks like we have been found out. I warned that the cocky optimism being shown by some was misplaced and that first half confirmed what I have been warning for three weeks now - we face a battle to avoid the drop.
Going forward, we are clueless. Cole is trying but there is no movement. Jarvis is misfiring and Taylor's crossing is poor - but the big problem is the absence of bodies in the box. Tomkins is not a right back and offers nothing going forward and O'Brien is not a left back either and offers little on the left. As a result, we rarely double up on the flanks unless Nolan pulls wide. When he does, there's only Cole down the middle.
At the back we have been shocking when in possession and there are gaping holes behind the full backs that Reading will exploit in the second half. The Collins error was a carbon copy of his mistake against Swansea and, frankly, I can see a repeat of the 3-0 score at the moment.
Allardyce needs to earn his salary at half time but gobbing off can only achieve so much. O'Neil is not good enough. The full backs are not good enough. Taylor is not good enough. Jarvis is out of sorts and the alternatives are not exciting.
Fingers crossed - it's more in hope than expectation!