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Reading FC 0-0 RCD Espanyol: Player Ratings

On an overcast August afternoon The Royals entertained La Liga opposition in their last friendly before the new season. @WilliamOwain gives his verdict on the players' performances.

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Jonathan Bond: 6

Didn't have much to do, but what he did have to do he did well. One excellent punch in the first half. With Al-Habsi replacing him on the hour we are still non the wiser who will start at Birmingham.

Chris Gunter: 6

Uneventful game for the Wales international which is not a bad thing for a right back. Moved to left back when Obita was sent off and late on wasted a half decent chance when a good cross could have created something.

Michael Hector: 6

Typical Hector performance. At times too eager to close down attackers but when that happened there was usually a central midfielder covering him. You could tell this was his first friendly for Reading and that there is more to come from him.

Anton Ferdinand: 6

Did enough to probably get himself into the starting line-up next week. Always looked composed and only really got into trouble on one occasion. Whilst his support for Obita in the fracas was commendable it also probably didn't help the situation.

Jordan Obita: 5

Up against a lively, and not afraid to be physical, opponent in Hernán Pérez. Put a few nice runs going forward and linked up well with Quinn in the first half. Given a five simply because being sent off in pre-season is plain stupid. Can count himself lucky not to be suspended for Birmingham.

Nick Blackman: 5

Another performance that will divide opinion. Some will have seen a lively performance whilst others will think it was a typically frustrating show. Missed a one on one in the first half that would have won the game. Such misses won't be tolerated in the league.

Aaron Tshibola: 6

Decent first half performance that showed he could be a useful squad player this season. Did enough to justify being selected ahead of Akpan but probably not enough to start against Birmingham.

Oliver Norwood: 7

His passing was a joy to watch at times and you can tell his football education came at the club which produced Paul Scholes. One long pass just before half time was of the highest quality. It would be a travesty if he and/or Reading waste his talents this season.

Stephen Quinn: 7

Very lively and promising display. In the first half he was always covering Obita on the left flank but when Reading were on the ball he was all over the pitch. In the second half he joined Sa up front and was a bit quieter but he is a player I think Royals fans will enjoy watching this season.

Danny Williams: 6

Started the game as an unorthodox high central midfielder before dropping deeper after half time. Signs he could be a useful option as a high presser however it would be nice to see him make more attacking runs. One silly and needles challenge in the first half that got him a yellow card. Moved to right back after Reading went down to ten men and did enough to suggest he could be an emergency option there.

Pavel Pogrebnyak: 6

Quiet display from the Big Russian before he was withdrawn due to injury. One superb piece of control in front of the East Stand. Swapped positions a few times with Blackman which he probably enjoyed for the novelty of having support as a lone striker in blue and white hoops.

Substitutes

Orlando Sa: 6

At times he looked a bit isolated but he isn't the first Reading striker to when played as a lone striker. Got better as the game went on and forced the Espanyol keeper into a good save around the hour. Showed enough promise to maybe earn a starting place if Pogrebnyak is unfit next week.

Tariqe Fosu: 6

His nimble footwork gets fans off their seats. Never really got into the game and went down too easily a couple of times. Will be a useful option off the bench but I think it is a bit too soon to be expecting him to be a regular starter.

Ali Al-Habsi: N/A

Like Bond he didn't have much to do. Given a good reception by the fans.

Paul McShane: N/A

May have to accept that he will start the season on the bench. His playground jostling for a free kick was entertaining to watch and like Ferdinand he made his presence known in the Obita fracas.

Simon Cox: N/A

Lined up on the left when he came on. A few nice touches and niggling fouls. Hard to work out how he will fit into the team this season.

Hope Akpan: N/A

Brought on for Quinn and helped shore up the midfield. Might be worried that Tshibola started ahead of him.

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.

Last Season's Ratings (click for a larger version):