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Reading FC 2014/15 Report Cards: Forwards

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The rest of the side have already been through the report card treatment, now it's Wimb's turn to grade Reading's forward line in 2014/15.

Sean Morrison outscored Pog during the 2014 portion of the Championship campaign...
Sean Morrison outscored Pog during the 2014 portion of the Championship campaign...
Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

*stats are from league games only

Simon Cox

Appearances: 37  Goals: 8  Avg Rating: 5.76

It's always great to see a player return 'home' and after enduring several years of fans complaining about how we let Cox get away in 2008, it was nice to see him back in the Hoops. Initially it looked like a master stroke from Nigel Adkins, as Cox helped us off to a solid start, scoring four times in the opening couple of months and providing several others. He partnered Glenn Murray well but soon became the fall guy in Nigel Adkins over-tinkering as he would often be the man dropped from a winning side.

If that dented his confidence, the arrival of Steve Clarke and departure of Glenn Murray really gave it a hammer blow as Cox failed to find the net in 2015 and was even left out of the squad entirely as the season wore on. He's still loved by the Reading fans but given Clarke sold him on at West Brom, his future doesn't look bright.

Grade: C

*****

Jamie Mackie

Appearances: 32 Goals: 5 Avg Rating: 6.17

Taking third place in our POTS vote as well as the club's own award, Mackie enjoyed a productive loan spell at the Madejski Stadium. Injuries kept him from making too much of an early impact and then just as he was getting into form, injury struck again. Fortunately the Forest loanee got himself back into form when it mattered, earning Reading seven vital points in the Spring with goals against Ipswich, Brighton and Bolton.

Mackie always gave 100% to the cause and was a real fan favourite but there was still a nagging doubt about his end product and a goal tally of just five in 32 games doesn't make for the best of reading. Apparently on a rather generous contract back at Forest, it's questionable if we'll see him back but if the deal is right I'd certainly be happy to see him return.

Grade: B

*****

Glenn Murray

Appearances: 18 Goals: 8 Avg Rating: 6.28

Another loanee, Murray made an impressive start to life at the club by scoring twice on his debut against Fulham in what was probably our best performance of the season. Another big goal against Wolves followed but you have to wonder if our season might have panned out differently had he scored a missed spot-kick up at Sheffield Wednesday that sparked a six-game winless run.

Murray's from slowly faded as the team struggled but Steve Clarke's arrival helped rejuvinate the forward and it was no surprise to see new Palace manager Alan Pardew recall him in January. Murray would go on to play a key role in Palace's move up the table.

The former Brighton man could have made a massive difference during the second-half of the season but for the time he was he, he was excellent.

Grade: B+

*****

Pavel Pogrebnyak

Appearances: 26  Goals: 6 Avg Rating: 6.04

If Pav was on 10k a week and born in Tilehurst I'm sure he'd be getting much more love from the Reading fans but alas this is one of the highest paid players in our history and you have to expect more than six goals from the 'Big F**king Russian'. Despite that, Pav always put in a shift when called upon but struggled to make a real impact on the goal scoring front and wasn't overwhelming in a support role either.

Grade: C-

*****

Yakubu

Appearances: 7 Goals: 0  Avg Rating: 4.33

The average rating says it all and from a Championship point of view, the Yak was utterly useless. His one meaningful contribution in the league was setting up a Pog goal at Blackpool but he'll always be part of Reading folklore for his FA Cup goal at Derby that sent us into the quarter-finals. That goal alone probably justifies his signing but otherwise this was an experiment that didn't pay off.

Grade: D

*****

Others

Kwesi Appiah (C-) showed promise in the first and last games of his loan spell but did precious little in between. His goal up at Derby demonstrated what he's capable of but it would still rank as a gamble to bring him back next season. Craig Tanner (C+) scored within minutes of making his debut against Newport before enjoying a decent loan spell at AFC Wimbledon, while Andriji Novakovich (N/A) played for a couple of minutes against Watford and Birmingham to get a brief taste of Championship football

*****

Overall

Some will say the strikers should have done a better job of putting the ball in the net while others would argue that the midfield didn't do enough to provide for them. Whatever the case, the buck ultimately stops with those up front and for Cox, Mackie and Pogrebnyak to score just 10 between them in 2015 simply wasn't good enough from three Internationals who've all played in the Premier League. Glenn Murray did the best he could in his time here while the few goals Mackie scored were vital but otherwise this was a campaign to forget for our strikers and it's no surprise to read that Clarke wants at least two new forwards brought in.

Grade: C-

REPORT CARD GRADES

POSITION GRADE
Goalkeepers A
Defenders C-
Central Midfielders B-
Wingers C-
Forwards C-

So that completes the report card process for the season but what did you make of it Tilehurst Enders?