Blues boss Steve Cotterill has held up Reading’s continuity as a recipe for Championship success.
The Blues host Brian McDermott’s side tonight as they look for their first win of the new campaign.
In contrast, the Royals produced a shock triumph at promotion favourites Leicester last weekend.
As play-off finalists last term, Reading are again fancied to contend for promotion.
Cotterill believes their sustained progress is testament to the stability of the first-team set-up.
And he is adamant that is the route he would love to take at Fratton Park.
He said: ‘Their side have been together now for a long while – the staff, the players, everyone.
‘Whereas we started last season with one team and finished it with another.
‘It is very difficult when you are chopping and changing.
‘If you have a look at them, it would be interesting to know how many changes they have had to make since they last came to Fratton Park, not many.
‘Matt Mills went for £5m and Shane Long, pictured above, went for £7m. That’s it.
‘It’s good when you can go from season to season and not have to work on the tactical side because they already know it.
‘It’s always a joy – and Reading have done it very, very well for me. They have done it for years.
‘Probably Nicky Hammond deserves a lot of credit for this and I don’t think he gets a lot of credit behind the scenes.’