Date: 15th February 2015 at 4:48pm
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Vital Reading looks at the players’ individual performances from the superb FA Cup victory at Derby on Saturday.

Vital Reading looks at the players’ individual performances from the superb FA Cup victory at Derby on Saturday. Goals from Hal Robson-Kanu and Yakubu earned the Royals a 2-1 win to send them into the quarter finals of the competition.

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Adam Federici – 7 – The Aussie keeper made amends for what some may see as a mistake against Leeds, with a fine string of saves in this game, especially in the opening seconds. The only negative was his kicking, which had a rare off day.

Stephen Kelly – 7 – Gunter doesn’t look like he is going to get back in this team anytime soon when he returns from injury. Another calm and assured display from the experienced full-back, who did not struggle with the pacey duo of Lingard or Dawkins.

Alex Pearce – 7 – The skipper led by example again, winning every aerial challenge in our area. He learnt his lessons from the other night by not trying any extravagant with his passing, Pearcey kept it composed and simple, how it should be with him.

Michael Hector – 7 – Big Hec matched the composure of his centre-back partner, with a great showing against a Premier League level striker. He kept his head during some tough spells of pressure in the first half, making some superb last-ditch tackles.

Jordan Obita – 7 – Young Obita seemed to sacrifice his attacking game for his defensive one, but he didn’t put a foot wrong. A lot of Derby’s wing play was coming down his side with Christie, but him and HRK worked well as a pair to quell this.

Jamie Mackie – 5 – Ineffective performance from the on-loan Forest man, who didn’t really offer anything. He couldn’t beat his man and when he was lucky enough to get a few yards of space, he was wasteful.

Danny Williams – 8 – Is cult-hero status beckoning for the central midfielder? Another superb, energetic and effective shift from Williams, who was non-stop all game. He was constantly on the toes of the Derby midfield and driving the team forward on the ball.

Nathaniel Chalobah – 7 – Another low-key, yet effective performance from the 20-year old. He was struggling in the first half with his defensive duties, as Derby were getting too much space, but improved vastly in the second. His calm composure in midfield gives us an option we haven’t really had in decent seasons.

Hal Robson-Kanu – 8 – Man of the Match – A superb finish for the goal, sublime weight of pass for Yakubu’s assist, along with a determined and exciting performance. If Clarke can continue get the best out of HRK, he is a miracle worker.

Simon Cox – 6 – It would have been a higher mark had he have taken two great chances in the first half. His work-rate was superb from the first minute to the last, as well as some neat touches behind Pog which linked him and the midfield well.

Pavel Pogrebnyak – 7 – The big Russian is such a key asset to have away from home – can hold the ball up and can work the channels well enough. Work rate was superb as ever and unlucky not to score in the second-half with a header saved well by the keeper.

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Nick Blackman – 7 – It is bemusing how he was on the bench instead of Mackie, but would have proved his point to the manager with a good cameo appearance. He was always looking to take on the Derby backline when he got the ball and did so effectively.

Yakubu – 7 – What else could you have asked of the Yak?! He probably isn’t ready to start, but if he can come off the bench and do that, he will be a massive asset. The touch and finish for his goal showed glimpses of his Premier League past.

Hope Akpan – N/A – Brought on to calm the Derby storm, but the storm didn’t really come in the end.

 

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