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Forest vs Reading: Player Ratings

After an exciting game at the City Ground which ended with the Royals claiming all three points, here’s how we rated the players.

Laurence Griffiths

<strong>Alex McCarthy – 7 </strong>

I’ve definitely seen him have busier games between the sticks for Reading! However, when he was called upon he was strong and effectively, making a couple of decent saves, most notably one when he tipped a dipping header from Jamie Mackie over the bar.

<strong>Chris Gunter – 6 </strong>

Had a reasonably good game, including putting in a great tackle to deny Jamie Mackie, but Gunter’s bad luck was taken one step further this week after receiving a booking incorrectly for diving at Ewood Park. I personally don’t believe that other refs would have given a yellow card for either incident, especially the first one, when all he appeared to do was clear the ball before it had even gone out of play. The second incident at the time appeared like he was challenged first before he made the challenge. Hopefully this doesn’t knock his confidence for when he comes back from suspension, as we are now lacking at the back in big amounts.

<strong>Stephen Kelly – 6 </strong>

Still looks uncomfortable at times playing at left back, and was caught out of position on occasion. Also gave the ball away for the first Forest goal. However, it was very reassuring to have him as cover when Gunter got given his marching orders, and looked much more at ease in his natural right back role.

<strong>Kaspars Gorkss – 7 </strong>

Had a little slip in the lead up to the first Forest goal but apart from that Gorkss had a very solid game. Great, powerful header to put us 2-0 up as well. I’m genuinely pleased to see Gorkss back in the team, he’s a brilliant Championship defender and I feel he may have an important part to play later in the season.

<strong>Alex Pearce – 6 </strong>

I don’t actually remember him doing that much, that can’t be a bad thing, right?! We always knew the Gorkss/Pearce partnership at the back was going to be fine after our Championship winning season, and they both have good aerial presence. At the full time whistle, Pearce’s public display of passion was brilliant and something we haven’t seen from him for a while, so that was a good thing to witness.

<strong>Danny Guthrie – 8 </strong>

A great performance as Reading captain. Himself and Williams dominated the midfield, and Guthrie’s crosses and corners were superb. A definite contender for Man of the Match.

<strong>Danny Williams – 8 </strong>

It was clear to see from Friday’s game that Williams is one of the players we’ve been desperately missing in our injury riddled squad. He certainly talked the talk during the week, but he proved what he could do when it mattered. He was quick and creative, and I’m excited to see him when he’s got more match practice and fitness to his name.

<strong>Garath McCleary – 9 </strong>

McCleary certainly rose to the occasion of visiting his former club, and I think it’s possibly one of the best performances I’ve seen from him in a Reading shirt. He was a constant threat down the wing, and his two assists during the evening were nearing on perfection.

<strong>Jordan Obita – 7 </strong>

It was great to see Obita get his first senior goal for Reading (it was a good goal too!). He has pace and is a very good player in the making, although at the moment he can sometimes be pushed off the ball too easily.

<strong>Hal Robson-Kanu – 6 </strong>

Didn’t seem to have much involvement in the game but didn’t really play badly either. Put in a couple of decent crosses during our attacking play and linked up well with McCleary at times.

<strong>Pavel Pogrebnyak – 8 </strong>

I just love watching Pog play at the moment. He’s big (obviously) and strong and always seems dedicated to the cause. His finish for the first goal was clinical, and he was a constant threat going forward throughout his time on the pitch.

<strong>Jobi McAnuff – 6 </strong>

<strong>Billy Sharp – 5 </strong>

<strong>Nick Blackman – 5 </strong>