After a good victory and performance against Middlesbrough, which takes us back into the play-off spots, Vital Reading looks at the players’ individual performances
After a good victory and performance against Middlesbrough, which takes us back into the play-off spots, Vital Reading looks at the players’ individual performances from the 2-0 win.
Alex McCarthy – 6 – The keeper didn`t really have an awful lot to do, but wasn`t really convincing in the saves he had to make. There were two occasions where he spilled two central shots in front of him, rather than pushing them away. His kicking was also poor again and seemed too casual when it came to clearing the ball, taking too much time on occasions.
Chris Gunter – 7 – Another solid game from the right back, who is certainly a contender for player of the season. Gunter constantly had the better of Adomah when he was on his side, showing a type of aggression that you want to see from your full backs in the tackle. Going forward he was also a threat, making good runs and had a great chance himself to score, but ballooned it over.
Alex Pearce – 7 – New white boots for Pearcey, which looked odd, but it seemed to do the trick in a solid game from the defender. Him and Morrison dealt with Graham well for the most part, which was probably helped with him being isolated for most of the game. Distribution was hit and miss from him, but you can never expect miracles from him in the passing department.
Sean Morrison – 7 – Same as his defensive partner, solid again, as he looks to continue to build his match fitness further. Morro got caught in behind a few times in the game, but recovered well in those minor instances. A threat from set pieces with his 6`5 frame too.
Jordan Obita – 8 -VR MotM – Widely agreed as the man of the match and is possibly favourite for player of the season now. Fantastic energy to overlap with McAnuff throughout and defensively superb, he is becoming a great, young player. Boro tried exploiting him in the second half with the width, but to no avail, as his reading of the game is improving week-by-week.
Danny Guthrie – 7 – Unfortunately he had to go off shortly into the second half due to injury and it is a massive blow if he is out for the season, as his influence in midfield is massive and is forming a fantastic partnership with Williams. We got to see the other part of his game more in this one, as he probably made more tackles in midfield than he did passes.
Danny Williams – 8 – Superb game again from the midfield, who is showing no ill effects of his recurring knee injury. Great energy and determination again, offering his hand at both ends of the field. His passing did get sloppy towards the end of the game, but hasn`t completed 90 minutes in a while though, so you do have to cut him some slack for that.
Garath McCleary – 7 – There have been too many occasions where he has been non-existent in games and hasn`t got on the ball – Tuesday night was the opposite. He was constantly getting on the ball, having the confidence to take on players and putting some decent crosses in. He admitted as having lower back problems, which could been attributed to his sketchy form in recent months.
Hal Robson-Kanu – 6 – Went off injured early due to a nasty facial injury, which was a shame, as he was having a decent start to the game. He was looking confident and was looking lively in the number 10 role, holding the ball up well and taking on players. Hopefully the injury isn`t too bad for him.
Jobi McAnuff – 7 – After a few bad games in the run up to this one, it was refreshing to see the skipper put in a good, solid display. Jobi tore their right-back apart in the first half and looked confident, which was great to see. Helped Obita tracking back when necessary and despite reportedly carrying a knock for the second half, did very well.
Adam le Fondre – 7 – Back in the team and back in the goals for Alfie. It is concerning to see him starting on his own, but HRK and Pog did well to make sure he wasn`t isolated. He got himself about and could have got a few more goals. He was dragged wide a few times in the first half, but as the game opened up in the second half, allowed McCleary to supply him more.
Pavel Pogrebnyak – 7 – Suffered a knock against Wigan, so was dropped to the bench, but after being summoned early on, did a good job. The big Russian held the ball up well and brought others into play. Nearly scored a fantastic individual goal, but was denied by the keeper.
Hope Akpan – 6 – Still not overly convinced of his potential yet and this game proved the jury is still out. There is no doubting he has potential to improve, but for a central midfielder, he doesn`t play with a high enough tempo, taking too long on the ball and a few too many slack passes.