Reading drew their second consecutive home game 0-0 yesterday against championship news boys, MK Dons.
Clarke made one change to the side that drew at Sheffield Wednesday on Wednesday. This saw Jordan Obita come in at Left Back for Andrew Taylor, meaning the four centre midfielders of Quinn, Norwood, Williams and Tshibola kept their places with Kanu and Sa up front. Captain Mcshane partnered Ferdinand in defence and the ever reliable Gunter stayed at Right back, whilst Bond kept his place in goals after his error in midweek.
MK Dons started the game by keeping the ball well without causing Reading any problems. However, after 15 minutes of no action, The Royals got going and started to create some chances. The main chance fell for Hal Robson-Kanu as his striker partner, Orlando Sa’s shot was deflected into his path, only to see his poked effort from point blank range saved. Orlando Sa also raced through on goals but took too long to take his shot before he was tackled. The unfortunate Sa was then denied his first Reading goal by the linesmans flag going up for offside. Another tidy bit of Reading play ended with Quinn firing over from the top of the box. Just before the break, MK Dons nearly stunned the home crowd as former Royal Simon Church hit the post with a miss-hit shot.
A fairly entertaining half of football but no goals.
The second half continued in the same vein as Reading controlled procedures. Reading continued to create chances but just couldn’t finish them off. Tshibola was then the next to see a chance go begging as his low drive was not quite powerful enough. Cox and Blackman were called upon as Robson-Kanu made way(to the delight of the fans) as did Tshibola. Reading finally started to test the Dons keeper but to no avail as Norwood and Blackman both saw shots saved.
The game faded out to another blank but again there were positives to take out of the game. Reading look incredibly good at the back and Paul McShane’s start to his career at Reading has been phenomenal. Our midfielders have also been really impressive despite lacking that little bit of creativity. Orlando Sa also looked really good yesterday. All we are lacking at the moment is Mccleary, Hurtado and a pacey striker to come in and we’ll start to win games.
Another impressive performance. Don’t panic, it’ll come.
Jonathan Bond 6
Bond has yet to make a difficult save for Reading and was again untested. His kicking needs some working on.
Chris Gunter 7
Gunter is very consistent and rarely has a poor game. He wasn’t really tested defensively on Saturday and he got forward on every chance.
Paul McShane 8
McShane has had a top start to his Reading career and he again impressed. The captain won every header and organised the backline surperbyly. Great display
Anton Ferdinand 8
Anton has been like a new signing. He has been keeping Hector out the side and showed on Saturday exactly why. Ferdinand didn’t put a foot wrong, but again didn’t have much to deal with.
Jordan Obita 7
Obita was brought back into the side and he did well. He dealt with the lively Hall and got forward when he could. Unfortunately his crossing wasn’t the best.
Danny Williams 7
Williams again played off the right wing with Mccleary injured and he did a job for Reading. You can tell he’s not a natural winger but Danny drove at the MK defence and caused them some problems.
Aaron Tshibola 8
Another impressive showing from youngster Tshibola. He partnered Norwood in a midfield two for the third time this season and they have already started to form a good little partnership. He’s strong, quick and also has an eye for a pass.
Oliver Norwood 9
Norwood is back to his best. Oli produced another fine display as he controlled the game from start to finish. His vision is phenomenal and he also protects the back four perfectly. A masterclass from the little midfielder but unfortunately he didn’t top it off with the winner.
Stephen Quinn 6
Quinn has struggled to get going in a Reading shirt. He’s sort of been playing out of position and his touch sometimes lets him down. One things for sure, you can’t fault his work rate.
Hal Robson-Kanu 5
Hal continues to flatter to deceive. He missed the best opportunity of the game and struggled to make an impact. The Reading contingent ironically cheered him as he was substituted, which shows what the fans think of him here.
Orlando Sa 7
Another good little cameo from Sa. He holds the ball up brilliantly and can pick out players with a great pass. He just needs that first goal to gain some confidence.
Nick Blackman 6
Blackman drove at the Dons defence when he was introduced. He also had a couple of shots saved. I’d start him ahead of Kanu next week.
Simon Cox 4
Cox is completely devoid of confidence. Every time he received the ball, it bounced off him and his passing was woeful. Something has clearly happen between him and Clarke.
Came on for the last 5 minutes so it’s difficult to judge him. A couple of dodgy touches, however.
7- Steve Clarke set up his side to go and win the game. He’s got the boys playing some nice stuff and we look a lot better than last year. We just lack that goal which isn’t Clarke’s fault.
8- Robinson came here for a draw and got it. MK defended well and passed the ball around nicely. Lack of quality not his fault