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Reading FC 2-1 Norwich City: Player Ratings

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A well-earned three points to round off 2014 coincided with Steve Clarke's first victory as Reading boss. After his report, Marc gives us his player ratings from the afternoon's play.

Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Adam Federici- 6

Aussie keeper Feds was all-at-sea for the Canaries consolation, albeit fair enough, but was otherwise largely untested. The visitors' attacking intent was met with some very poor finishing, with Federici's command of his area the most tested aspect of his game, an area where he generally impressed.

Chris Gunter- 7

A much improved performance from the Welsh international. Freed of the armband Gunter made a good impression in defence and attack, in both of which there was able assistance from wingers McCleary-then-Mackie. Overlapping to great effect, the 25-year-old played an important part in setting up the second goal.

Michael Hector- 6

A good performance from Hector that mainly involved heading away crosses, and marking the disparate Cameron Jerome. While he was comfortable in dealing with direct attacks, Big Hec was perhaps less sturdy when required to effectively clear danger and when on the ball more generally.

Alex Pearce- 6

Much the same as Hector, captain Pearce was very able in clearing crosses and in his positioning, but could have put in more challenges in the build-up play. I mentioned how loose Norwich's aim was, but the fact they were able to get a number of shots away can be put down to the centre-half pairing- who were otherwise perfectly competent.

Jordan Obita- 8

The most pleasing aspect of the England Under-21 internationals performance was his willingness to get stuck in. So often was Obita required to clear the second ball, which was typically a looping 50/50 challenge, that it was good to see how the left-back never shirked away from these challenges, and offered a great amount going forward, too. While he looked composed and confident, the one area Obita needs to work on is his crossing.

Danny Williams- 7

Many Reading fans, myself included, had noted how DW's impact since returning from injury has been somewhat less than we had hoped for. Today was the type of performance that we had been dreaming of. While unspectacular, the American was irrefutably solid and made some vital interceptions, driving his team forward when given the chance.

Oliver Norwood- 7

While hailed as a playmaker-of-sorts, Northern-Irishman Norwood is turning out to be an all-rounder of a midfielder for The Royals. Another consistent display, the ex-Man United player was neat in his passing and effective in his tackling, especially when faced with a potentially dangerous Norwich diamond.

Garath McCleary- 6

A tough score to give, as GMac didn't look any worse than his team-mates for the majority of the game. However, the Jamaican struggled to make an impact in attack and rarely put in a dangerous cross. Nevertheless, he tracked back very well and was never afraid to run at and stretch the visiting defence.

Hal Robson-Kanu- 8

A really solid performance from HRK rounded off a year where we at TTE (don't look at me, I voted for Pog) voted the Welshman Underachiever of 2014. While his touch let him down once or twice, Robson-Kanu was a real threat going forward, ran at the defence without fear, offered good link-up play, and tracked back effectively. Lest we mention the perfect execution of a very important goal from the spot. HRK excelled today, the first step in proving his doubters wrong.

Simon Cox- 7

Against Norwich, Simon Cox offered a Simon Cox performance worthy of Simon Cox. With an incredible work-rate, the Irish international chased every loose ball, worked well with his partner Glenn Murray, and added a fine goal to cap it off. While still absent for stretches of the game, and still unable to provide a killer ball of his own making, Cox performed well.

Glenn Murray- 7

Perhaps all this performance lacked was a goal. The Palace loanee was reluctant in the air at times, but always made himself available in the box- it was just a shame he couldn't find the net. Given a welcome standing ovation in the final minute when subbed off, the main question now is: Was that the final Glenn Murray appearance in a Reading shirt?

SUBS:

Jamie Mackie- 7

Worked really hard while driving his team and the fans on in the tough final moments. Also produced a lovely bit of skill that almost created a third goal. Good to have him back.

Danny Guthrie- 6

Positioned higher up the pitch when Clarke re-introduced the midfielder, got about well but limited impact.

Nick Blackman- N/A

Came on for Murray in injury time.