Date: 4th January 2015 at 5:24pm
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Vital Reading looks at the players’ individual performances from the FA Cup win at Huddersfield.

Vital Reading looks at the players’ individual performances from the FA Cup win at Huddersfield. Nick Blackman’s goal was enough for victory in a poor game at the John Smith’s Stadium.

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Mikkel Andersen – 5 – Not the most convincing display from Federici’s under-study, but a clean sheet nonetheless. His kicking was poor and had one shaky moment with claiming a long-ball.

Chris Gunter – 6 – A solid enough game from the right-back, who did his defensive duties well enough. Going forward he failed to link up well enough with Mackie, Guthrie or Blackman though.

Alex Pearce – 8 – Man of the Match – The new stand-in skipper appears to be really relishing his new role, as well as putting in a great shift in this game. Pearcey made some great interceptions and won the majority of his aerial battles.

Michael Hector – 7 – Another player who seems to be relishing under Clarke’s reign, with another solid showing. His pace was useful when defending against Wells and Vaughan, eventhough they didn’t get in behind too much.

Jordan Obita – 5 – A surprisingly poor game from Obita, whose passing was very erratic and misplaced. In all fairness, there was nothing with his defending, but on the ball he was poor.

Oliver Norwood – 6 – The midfielder would have wanted to prove a point against his former side and certainly looked up for it. He didn’t have much influence in the first half, but did keep things moving well in the second.

Danny Williams – 7 – It seems that he is finally getting back to his best, in what was a good performance. We saw more of his defensive game today than going forward, but he put in a great shift in midfield alongside Norwood.

Danny Guthrie – 6 – Great to see him back on the turf and while still looked short of fitness, he did well. Many wouldn’t associate him with a right midfield role, but put in a good shift there, where he also started the move for the goal by winning the ball.

Jamie Mackie – 5 – The on-loan Forest man allowed frustration to ruin his game, constantly getting on the referees back. He couldn’t get into the game, constantly coming inside rather than taking on his man. Rightly substituted at half-time.

Hal Robson-Kanu – 6 – Poor first half and much improved second from HRK, whose role in the goal was crucial, with perfect weight of pass for Blackman. He should still be showing more quality though.

Simon Cox – 7 – Like a lot of others, a better second half performance. I wasn’t sure about him playing the loan striker though, more so when we were playing very direct. He excelled much more in the number ten role in the second half, with some neat touches. Work rate was superb throughout.

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Nick Blackman – 7 – I’m surprised he didn’t start, but I’m sure he will on Saturday based on that performance. He lead the line well with good movement and did his defensive duties when moved back out to the right-wing.

Dominic Samuel – 6 – Great to see him make his second appearance for the Royals, probably long overdue considering his form for the under 21s. A few nice touches, but was ultimately isolated on his own up front.

Jake Cooper – N/A – Brought on in injury time to deal with Huddersfield’s expected long-ball onslaught, where he won a few crucial headers.

 

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