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Reading FC 1-0 Preston North End: Player Ratings

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George Evans and John Swift were the stars in an encouraging display from Jaap Stam's team.

Ali Al-Habsi: 6

Was bumped up to a seven for his save from Daniel Johnson, but then dropped back down to a six for his late dropping of a cross that could have gifted Preston a goal.

Chris Gunter: 7

Carried on his Euro 2016 form in the first half looking as confident and positive as going forward as we have seen him for a long time in Reading colours. Like the team was less good in the second half, but made one crucial clearance in the six yard box after he had moved to left back.

Paul McShane: 7

Not really tested by the away side. Looked comfortable on the ball and one reckless foul aside didn't put a foot wrong.

Joey van den Berg: 7

Fully justified Jaap Stam's decision to start him at centre back ahead of Jake Cooper. His ability on the ball helped Reading dominate possession. His positioning wasn't always great, but we'll let that go as this was his debut in an unfamiliar position.

Jordan Obita: 7

Quietly confident performance. Will face much sterner tests than Preston's wingless attack.

George Evans: 7

Oliver Norwood who? Excellent display and easily his best since he joined the club. Looked assured on the ball and got about well supporting the defence and his fellow midfielders. This display and his good pre-season has made him one of the first names on the teamsheet.

Danny Williams: 7

Sense of déjà vu for Williams. Just like last season he has had an encouraging pre-season in a role that seems to play to his strengths and he has carried that form into the season proper. Noticeable how he was restrained in his attacking runs so that Evans wasn't left as the only man covering the defence.

John Swift: 7

Some may argue he deserves a higher mark, but he clearly has such quality that these are the sort of performances we should be expecting from him, especially against poor opponents. Wonderful control and poise throughout, capped with a goal of the highest quality. Can he keep up it when the weather gets cold and the game's not so easy for Reading?

Garath McCleary: 7

Lively first half but faded after the break. Preston struggled to contain him at times and for all the beautiful simplicity in Reading's goal it still needed a good delivery from McCleary to set Swift up.

Deniss Rakels: 6

Struggled to get into the game at times and really should have scored in the second half with an easy chance. Can never fault his effort though.

Roy Beerens: 7

Like McCleary, was at times too hot for Preston to handle. Has a lovely low center of gravity that allows him to suddenly accelerate from nowhere. Was quiet in the second half.

Substitutes

Tennai Watson: 6

Composed senior debut. Looked at home and proved that unless Gunter leaves there is no need for the club to bring in another right back.

Callum Harriott: 6

Lively sub appearance. Another winger who showed exciting flashes of pace and skill.

Yann Kermorgant: N/A

Reading's excellent attitude was personified by the Frenchman, any disappointment he had at starting on the bench wasn't shown on the pitch as he wilfully helped out in defence with three clearances.

Average Rating: 6.7

Three best and worst performances from 2015/2016

7.5 - Ipswich Town H (W 5-1)

6.9 - Brentford A (W 3-1)

6.9 - Bristol City A (W 2-0)

6.0 - AVERAGE

5.2 - Huddersfield Town H (D 2-2)

5.1 - Nottingham Forest (L 1-3)

4.6 - Birmingham City H (L 0-2)

Season's Ratings (click for a larger version)

Man Of The Match