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5 Things - Rotherham United

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Reading faced Rotherham United on Tuesday for the first of back-to-back games at the Madejski. Bucks Royal analyses the game with his 5 Things from the 3-0 win.

Ben Hoskins

1) ...Bring the vodka and the charlie

Up to Tuesday night, Jamie Mackie's Reading career had been in a positive but limited light. No-one can deny his workrate, but criticism had been levelled over his end product. If Tuesday night proved anything, it's that he has just that. An excellent all-round performance was capped with a smart finish in the first half and an assist for Cox in the second. If he keeps up this form, Garath McCleary could find breaking back into the side harder than first thought.

2) Kelly's Heroes...

When Brian McDermott signed Stephen Kelly in the January transfer window of the 2012/13 season, much-needed experience was injected into the back four. He's had an up-and-down Reading career since, but the former Republic of Ireland international could be making another break into the side. On a night when Reading scored three, kept a clean sheet, Cox and Mackie shone, and Danny Williams finally returned to the starting XI, Kelly's 90 minutes could be one of the biggest positives. There is now real competition for the right-back slot, and competition can go a long way towards inspiring what has been a very leaky defence.

3) The ever-changing face of Reading's left flank...

As I discussed a few weeks ago, Reading's left wing has constantly gone under reconstruction. With Hal Robson-Kanu, Nick Blackman, Ryan Edwards, Jake Taylor and now Jordan Obita all having started there this season, it's fair to assume that Nigel hasn't worked out his preferred player for the position. Obita had a bright game on Tuesday, but didn't give the kind of strong performance that nails down his place there in the next game. This sub-plot could run and run...

4) He's one of our own...

It's always nice to see an academy player make it, but Simon Cox goes down as an extra-special case. Two high-quality finishes to see off Rotherham were testament to the achievements of the academy, and the response to each goal was testament to how highly regarded Cox is by the fans. Twice, "He's One of Our Own" rang out from Y26, and twice Cox responded. An emotional link with the fanbase is seen less and less nowadays, but it's clear that we have it with Reading boy Simon Cox.

5) Great Expectations...

My first 5 Things of the season was the home game against Huddersfield, and then I talked about the expectations that we, as Reading fans, set of the team. Because of well-documented financial problems and an injury plague, it was generally agreed in the summer that this would be a season of rebuilding and making do with what we have. With that in mind, despite a run of half a dozen games without a win, we're still on track for a respectable mid-table finish. Admittedly, I've recently been one backing a change in manager, but Tuesday changed my mind. With the team under pressure, Adkins changed the team around and delivered a solid defensive and attacking performance. If you can't respect that (I'm looking at you, guy at the back of Y26 constantly shouting 'Adkins Out!'), your expectations of this team are probably unrealistic.