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Reading FC Ups & Downs: Games 12-32

Earlier this season we looked at the ups and downs of our squad over the first 11 games this season, sadly this segment got buried away during the mire of the new year but I thought it was time to reflect on our overall progress covering the time from our 4-1 home win over Donny, up to our 1-0 defeat by Blackburn.

Ben Hoskins

(Games & goals are for the 21 league games between October 19 & February 22)

Trend looks at how they've performed from the Doncaster game onwards.

PLAYER GAMES GOALS NOTES TREND
GOALKEEPERS
Alex McCarthy 19 0 McCarthy started this period of games with an injury and after missing the win over Doncaster and draw with Millwall, returned to ship five at Sheffield Wednesday. Since then he's been impressive, though just 5 clean sheets in 19 games will disappoint the keeper. LEVEL
Adam Federici 2 0 Federici played in those two games at the start of this period but since then hasn't really had a sniff. His hopes of being Australia's number 1 for the World Cup could have taken a fatal blow. DOWN
Stuart Taylor 0 0 Same old same old for Taylor who continues to train hard without a chance of game time. Also saw a loan move to Yeovil fail to work out due to personal reasons. LEVEL
DEFENDERS
Chris Gunter 20 0 Has been a real bright point of the season after forming a great partnership with Garath McCleary. Also showed his versatility by filling in at centre back, with his only real blot a red card at Forest. UP
Shaun Cummings 8 0 I was surprised to see Cummings had made as many as eight appearances in this spell as he seems to have been such a forgotten man. He was played mainly at left back but struggled to adapt and Reading won just three of the eight games he featured in. Hasn't played since January 11th. DOWN
Wayne Bridge 2 0 Bridge's only appearances came in those first two games of this spell, but having missed the next 19 and no return in sight, this is looking like going down as a 'miss' signing rather than a hit. DOWN
Stephen Kelly 9 1 Considering how solid he looked last season, this year will go down as a disappointing one for Kelly who struggled to fill the left-back void in Bridge's absence. Still, he did earn Reading a key point with a late header against Forest. DOWN
Jordan Obita 17 1 Obita has been a revelation at left-back since stepping in for the two-headed Kelly/Cummings monster and has been one of our standout performers in the recent upturn in form. UP
Alex Pearce 20 2 Pearce looked like he'd have to endure a spell on the bench after being dropped following the 5-2 thumping at Hillsborough but the Republic of Ireland international got his chance thanks to Sean Morrison's injury and has once again been steady if not spectacular alongside Kaspars Gorkss. LEVEL
Sean Morrison 4 1 it's been a cruel second half of the season for Morrison who hasn't played since the draw with QPR due to injury and has seen Pearce, Gorkss and now Michael Hector all stake claims for a regular spot. DOWN
Kaspars Gorkss 17 3 Gorkss was considered all but gone from the club after his troubles last season but injury to Morrison opened the door for the Latvian who has slowly got back to the sort of form that saw him win so much praise during our Championship winning season. Not amazing but decent at this level and three goals have also helped, including the winner at Watford. UP
Michael Hector 3 0 Hector enjoyed a very successful time on loan up at Aberdeen and has since returned to Reading and established himself as part of the matchday squad. Twice looked set for a run in the team due to red cards for Pearce & Gorkss but both times saw those overturned. UP
MIDFIELDERS
Chris Baird 5 0 After an impressive initial impact, Baird managed just five games in this timeframe before picking up an injury that's kept him out ever since. Still training with Reading although technically a free agent. DOWN
Royston Drenthe 6 0 Injury kept Drenthe out until December and his return was hardly spectacular as Reading won just one of the five league games he played in. Spent another two months out of the team before playing half an hour against Blackburn. So far more Mass Sarr than Messiah... DOWN
Garath McCleary 20 3 One of the best players at the club this season, creating plenty of goals for others and chipping in with three goals of his own, all from outside the box. UP
Hal Robson-Kanu 12 1 He's dealt with injuries but really this isn't how Hal Robson-Kanu would have seen his season going after taking such steps forward late last season. Has struggled to get into the team and has scored just once in 12 games. DOWN
Jobi McAnuff 17 0 The captain has made a positive impact since returning from injury problems but has shown signs he's a declining force as a player. He's got six bookings in the last 10 games and hasn't scored a goal all season. LEVEL
Danny Guthrie 14 1 After winning our player of the month votes in August and September you'd have to consider the subsequent five months as disappointing for the midfielder who saw his performance levels drop before falling out of the team altogether due to injuries and the form of Akpan and Williams. DOWN
Danny Williams 17 2 Williams has perhaps been our best player of 2014, as he's helped invigorate the midfield and inject some real drive into our performances. Scored two good goals in away wins at QPR and Millwall. UP
Hope Akpan 13 1 While not a world beater, Akpan has certainly shown progression since a miserable start to the season saw him involved in a bit of tit-for-tat with Adkins in the local press over his lack of game time. Since coming in for the injured Guthrie he's looked solid but rarely outstanding. UP
Jake Taylor 4 0 Nice to see Taylor establish himself in and around the squad, while the youngster didn't disgrace himself in any of his four league appearances. UP
FORWARDS
Adam Le Fondre 16 9 Nine goals in 16 games and a Championship Player of the Month award for Alfie who went from transfer bait to must not lose over the course of January. UP
Pavel Pogrebnyak 21 7 Hands up if you thought that Pog would be the only player to play in every game of this time period? Our Big 'Friendly' Russian has battled away relentlessly this season, often looking the only good player during that pathetic run over Christmas. Voted our player of the month three times he's finally looking like a decent signing. UP
Nick Blackman 14 1 Has slowly won some fans over after some commited performances but still struggling to justify a £1 million transfer fee last January. LEVEL
Billy Sharp 9 2 Sharp didn't pull up any trees while at the Madejski Stadium but his goals earned six points over Charlton and Huddersfield which are looking increasingly crucial. Would have been nice to have added him to the squad but not one of those you're gutted we've let go. LEVEL

Summary

UP (10) Gunter, Obita, Gorkss, Hector, McCleary, Williams, Akpan, Taylor, Le Fondre, Pogrebnyak

LEVEL (6) McCarthy, Taylor, Pearce, McAnuff, Blackman, Sharp

DOWN (8) Federici, Cummings, Bridge, Kelly, Morrison, Baird, Drenthe, Guthrie

So that's how we see the players trending after two thirds of the season but please let us know your thoughts below.