After a gritty and scrappy stalemate at Bradford on Saturday, Vital Reading looks at the players’ individual performances from the FA Cup quarter-final game
After a gritty and scrappy stalemate at Bradford on Saturday, Vital Reading looks at the players’ individual performances from the FA Cup quarter-final game.
Adam Federici – 7 – Considering Feders is usually anxious to collect direct balls into the area, I thought he could come undone in this game – I couldn’t be anymore wrong. He only had to make one decent save, but the commanding of his area was very impressive.
Stephen Kelly – 7 – I’m not sure why some fans are slating Kelly’s performance, I thought he did really well. He did well when pitched up against Hanson with diagonal balls, I think Gunter could have been really exploited if he played. He also made a fantastic challenge when Stead was through on goal.
Alex Pearce – 8 – Proper captain’s performance, typified by the shape of his nose at the end of the game! Pearcey really grew into the game after a tough start and especially stood tall in the second half, when Bradford pressure was growing.
Michael Hector – 8 – Man of the Match – Superb performance from big Hec, who has come on heaps and bounds under Clarke. Stead and Hanson are experienced strikers, but dealt with them really well.
Jordan Obita – 7 – Another player who I thought could crumble under the pressure, but again, I was wrong. Kept Morais under wraps for the large part of the game, despite sacrificing this own attacking game.
Nathaniel Chalobah – 6 – Quiet performance, but did the nitty and gritty stuff in midfield. The game did pass him by in the second half.
Danny Williams – 7 – The only player on the field that attempted to play the surface, as well as driving the team forward at any opportunity. Compared to Norwood and Chalobah, that game suited Williams to a tee.
Oliver Norwood – 5 – Not a game for Norwood, simple as, especially in his current form. He battled well and got himself about, but would have made more sense to put the physical option of Akpan or the experience of Guthrie in there. Too erratic and panicked late on. Set pieces were mainly poor too, bar the free-kick late on.
Jamie Mackie – 6 – Superb workrate, poor quality – the only way to sum his game up. I can fully understand why Clarke started him instead of McCleary, but didn’t have any quality in the final third, but obviously the pitch played a part in that for all the players.
Hal Robson-Kanu – 5 – His cup form warranted him to stay in the side, but didn’t deliver this time round. Offered no support to Pog and struggled to get on the ball. The work rate was there though, which was good to see.
Pavel Pogrebnyak – 7 – The hardest worker of the match and what a horrible job he had?! Our style meant Pog was the vocal point, and he gave Davies and McArdle a good battle, even if the defenders came out on top on most occasions. People that question his passion for this club need to see his reaction to him hitting the post in the first half.
Garath McCleary – 5 – Anonymous when he came on. Played very centrally and not wide, which was surprising, as we could have could Bradford in behind on the wings.
Yakubu – 5 – Feed the Yak and he will score, but unfortunately we didn’t feed him. Tried to impose himself on the game, but mainly ended up just giving away silly fouls.
Hope Akpan – 5 – Could have been the unlikely match winner if he connected with the ball in the goal mouth scramble at the end – it wasn’t to be.