Vital Reading gives our player ratings for the 3-1 friendly defeat against Swansea yesterday at the Madejski Stadium.
Vital Reading gives our player ratings for the 3-1 friendly defeat against Swansea yesterday, at the Madejski Stadium.
Alex McCarthy – 6 – Macca starting this one probably drops the hints he will be starting as number one for the season. He made a few decent stops, but his distribution or handling was not really tested by a Swansea side, who were reluctant to shoot from long-distance.
Chris Gunter – 6 – Defensively we were quite shaky throughout, but the stand-in skipper wasn`t too bad. It wasn`t exactly easy for him, being against Routledge in the first half, then Montero in the second period, but he did try and get forward at every opportunity, which is good to see.
Alex Pearce – 5 – I want to reason with Pearcey and Morro considering they were against two quick and strong European-standard forwards, but they were bullied all game. Pearcey was probably the more solid out of the two, but it`s clear he cannot deal with pace in behind. The penalty he conceded was unbelieveable, he was very lucky it wasn`t a league game.
Sean Morrison – 5 – Same as above really. It was miscommunication between him and Hector that led to Swansea`s third goal. His passing was hit and miss, but probably tries the more difficult pass to often, when he should keep the ball moving to the wings.
Jordan Obita – 6 – Most of Swansea`s attacks in the first half came from his left-side, but that was more down to Tiendalli being given too much space out wide. It was a tough test for him against Sig and Tiendalli, but dealt with it quite. Like Gunter, tried to get forward and get crosses in.
Hope Akpan – 6 – Prior to this game, Hope has had a good pre-season and looks like a player with confidence again. In this game, it was obviously more of a struggle for him, but still put in a decent shift. He kept his passing simple, which was good to see, but mishit a handful of them.
Michael Hector – 6 – I`ve seen a few mixed reviews about Hector in this game, but I didn`t understand the hype. He did the defensive part of his duties well, but gave the ball away far too often with sloppy passes. The third goal has to go down as his mistake, but I still see his future as a centre back, not centre midfield.
Nick Blackman – 7 – Man of the Match – Our best player by a fair distance, with all of attacking moves usually having him involved. He scored our only goal of the game with a superb long-range strike and if he takes his pre-season form into the league campaign, he may finally shake off all of his doubters.
Ryan Edwards – 5 – This game seemed just too much for the young Aussie, who didn`t have any space to exploit like he has in previous pre-season games. I still want to see him start against Wigan next week, as he doesn`t lack in confidence, which was clear again in this game.
Jake Taylor – 5 – Like Edwards, he just didn`t have the space or physicality to impose himself on the game. The young Welshman showed good feet in a good run in the first half, which ended up in a free-kick, but apart from this, seemed slightly lost out wide on the left.
Pavel Pogrebnyak – 6 – A typical dogged performance from the Pog, who despite being starved of service, put in a good shift and got himself about. As ever, he was playing with his back to goal most of the game, with Williams and Bartley not giving him any opportunity to turn.
Feders made a few good stops, after he came on at half-time, while Cummings didn`t really have long enough to assert himself on the game. The standout player of the youngsters that came on was Aaron Kuhl, who looks a classy act. He is comfortable on the ball and has a good passing range – a dark horse to start against Wigan maybe?