Brendan Rodgers' 16-game reign at Reading is now reliant upon the whims of club owner Sir John Madejski after another costly home defeat on Monday night.
While visitors Leicester moved up to fifth in the Championship courtesy of Martyn Waghorn's header, Reading have now not won a home league match since January 27 and are locked in the bottom three.
However pleasing their play is under Rodgers, this match offered irrefutable proof of the lack of resilience at a club caught in a vortex of decline. It is 17 short months since Reading lost their status among the country's elite clubs.
Rodgers said defiantly: 'I would hope I am given the time here.
'I've been given a three-year contract because my work isgood. We just need it to turn forus, then we'll be a threat in thisleague. It's only a matter of time.'
Ask any of the faithful, whose numbers have dropped off alarmingly this season, and the Premier League already seems a lifetime ago.
The hooped heroes of Steve Coppell's side Kevin Doyle, Stephen Hunt, Nicky Shorey and Marcus Hahnemann have all gone, many of them this pastsummer when more than £16million was recouped.
Factor in the average £20,000 salaries which they are now drawing elsewhere and the Madejski Stadium coffers are £25m to the good, even from last season's Championship play-off campaign.
The trouble is, hope and ambition departed with them. The freshness and naive vitality of Coppell's team is no more and the Reading supporters see nothing short of a grinding season ahead.
Heads up: Waghorn climbs above the Reading defence and plants the ball home
It is the dreaded second season syndrome, mark two. Having enduredit in the Premier League a near miss on a UEFA Cup place followed byrelegation they are now experiencing the Championship version.
Afailed attempt to go straight back up has been followed by theunthinkable journey towards League One. It is a path trodden lastseason by Charlton, Norwich and Southampton and a year earlier by lastnight's opponents Leicester.
If Madejski fails to connect a balancing of the books with correspondent poverty on thepitch, Rogers lured back in the summer to the club where he was academy director under Coppell could soon lose his job.
Under fire: Brendan Rodgers
There were times last night when a Reading team containing teenage striker Simon Church and three 20-year-olds threatened to sweep away a solid Leicester side.
Church dallied in shooting early on when three defenders closed himdown, while Jobi McAnuff did everything but score after 26 minutes.Driving into the area, his low shot struck the inside of the post andcame back out to him.
His second effort was goalbound butclipped the heels of Leicester full back Ryan McGivern. Reading weren'teven awarded a corner. In the space of four minutes, Church burstthrough but swept his shot inches wide of the post and then caught theball cleanly on the swivel only for Leicester keeper Chris Weale toparry the ball superbly.
It was cruel, then, that the homeside should concede on the cusp of half-time, Waghorn rising to headhome a Matt Oakley corner.
The injustice was compounded early in the second half when Church ruffled the side netting. Some results are just written.
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