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Watford 4-1 Reading FC: Player Ratings

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Following on from our match report, BucksRoyal gives his player ratings for yesterday afternoon's 4-1 defeat to Watford at Vicarage Road. You can vote for your man of the match at the bottom of the page.

Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Mikkel Andersen - 6

The Danish keeper had little to do despite conceding the four goals. Andersen made a couple of decent saves from Deeney and Forestieri but otherwise had an uneventful game.

Niall Keown - 6

Keown made his first start for the Royals yesterday afternoon and looked pretty steady playing on the right of a defensive three. The pace and trickery of Forestieri gave him a real threat throughout the match, but he dealt with it well. Despite arguably being at fault for Watford's fourth, his dad Martin (watching on from the away end) will be pleased with how well he coped under pressure in a tough match.

Zat Knight - 6

His massive presence in the game, at 6ft 6", was well known to the Watford front line as Knight was rarely beaten in the air. He made a few good challenges before being substituted late on in the second half. A decent performance from an experienced defender.

Jake Cooper - 7

It's clear just how far he's come since making his debut at the beginning of this season - Cooper is now regularly showing a maturity and decisiveness that every centre back needs. Watford was a slightly different challenge, this time playing as the left of three centre backs. He also adjusted to his new teammates well, and was probably the key man in the back line - with Knight and Keown not starting a professional English league game in ages, if at all.

Jack Stacey - 7

Stacey had an impressive full debut for the Royals at Vicarage Road. He got forward well, and attacked the Watford defence eagerly. His final ball was often lacking, but he showed some very clever touches in possession. Considering the difficulty of the 'wing back' role in a 3-5-2, Stacey showed excellent awareness and intelligence.

Jure Travner - 6

The 29 year-old Slovenian played the game as left wing-back and found a lot of space, particularly in the first half. Sometimes caught high up the pitch, he nonetheless tracked back well. Certainly did enough to warrant another chance later in the season.

Jake Taylor - 5

The Welsh midfielder looked off the pace and struggled to get in the game. Seemingly playing in a free role behind the front two, he just didn't create enough. His substitution for Jem Karacan in the 58th minute came as little surprise.

Danny Guthrie - 6

I thought Guthrie had a bright game in the middle of the park. Kept things moving nicely, showing off a good range of passing. Started some attacks with some confident drives up the pitch with the ball. Frustratingly, he can be a top player at this level when given regular starts. Since his initial injury last season, it's all been very stop-start for Guthrie.

Hope Akpan - 6

Had  a solid enough game doing the heavy lifting. At his best, Akpan keeps things simple - breaking down the ball before distributing the ball to someone else. Did pretty much that against Watford, and showed a sharp enough range of passing.

Yakubu - 5

Barely involved in the game, bar a well-saved shot in the second half. Needed to show strength and presence to impose himself on the Watford defence but, well, didn't. Lacks the work-rate of Pogrebnyak to bully a back-line, and not creative enough when on the ball.

Simon Cox - 5

He's dropped off the pace in the last couple of weeks, and didn't do anything to trouble Jamie Mackie's presumed starting spot on Monday. If anyone's the successor to Noel Hunt, it's Simon Cox - he'll never stop running, but rarely looks like scoring. No different against Watford.

Subs

Jem Karacan - 7

It was great to have the club captain back, but this was always going to be more of a cameo than a meaningful appearance. Added some important minutes to his long-term recovery, and eased himself back into the game. Not as energetic as we've seen in the past, but that's only natural. Capped off with a very well taken goal that puts him up to a 7.

Nick Blackman - 5

Anonymous. Blackman was the most established attacking player on that bench, but didn't show it. Truth be told, I can barely remember seeing him contribute in the half an hour he was on the pitch.

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Who was your man of the match? Vote in our poll at the bottom of the page, and leave your thoughts in the comments section.

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