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Not Alf Bad - Le Fondre Wins Premier League POTM

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Adam Le Fondre is already a Reading cult hero in the mould of such strikers as Jamie Cureton, Dave Kitson and Shane Long, but he managed something none of the others could do and was named Premier League Player of the Month for January 2013. Here's a look back at his month, and others which have garnered accolades for the Royals.

Jan Kruger

Le Fondre had a quite incredible month for the Royals - despite starting none of the games in January. His five goals came in just 68 minutes as he bagged one against the Baggies before successive braces facing Newcastle and Chelsea. His goals were of course paramount in fellow award winner Brian McDermott's success as Manager of the Month, but more importantly they've helped kick start the survival push as the New Year has given new hope to Reading fans.

This isn't Alfie's first Player of the Month award in his career... though that was in League Two, in August 2010. He netted 5 goals in 4 games, including four in one match against Cheltenham Town, to secure his first monthly gong. Quite a step up since then...

This was Reading's first ever Premier League Player of the Month award - though Royals players were no strangers to picking up the prize in the Championship. Ibrahima Sonko and Dave Kitson won in October and December 2005 respectively, whilst Irish duo Kevin Doyle and Stephen Hunt were rewarded in September and December 2008 in our first season after relegation.

Since Brian McDermott took over, four players have won the gong. Gylfi Sigurdsson netted 5 times in March 2010 to win the prize, whilst one year later defender Ian Harte scored three to get his photo taken. And Royals players completed a double over Winter 2011/12 - Alex Pearce scored two and was part of a defence which let in 1 goal in 5 games to see him named the winner in December, and Adam Federici kept 4/4 clean sheets in February to hold the award in his gloved hands.

In fact, since August 2004, Reading players had won the award 9 times in the Championship - the next best at that level is Stoke City with 6, then both Cardiff and Wolves on 5.

And whilst Alfie is the first player to pick up the gong in England's top flight wearing Reading training gear, Gylfi Sigurdsson's win in March 2012 for Swansea City meant he was the first ever ex-Royals trainee/player to receive the accolade.

If Le Fondre keeps performing as he has done in January, then survival is more than a possibility. And I'm sure the joy of at least one more season in the Premier League would far outweigh the recognition both the player and the manager receive in January 2013.