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Further Reading: The Day Jordan Obita Became A Man For Reading FC

The young left-back stepped into the breach at Craven Cottage and performed immaculately.

Fulham v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Play Off: First Leg Photo by Harry Hubbard/Getty Images

All eyes were on Jaap Stam going into Reading's play-off semi-final first leg with Fulham. The ex-Manchester United man, now in charge of his first English side, attempting to bring an unfavoured Royals outfit into the big league.

And it's fair to say that Stam's game plan worked to a tee for large parts of the game at Fulham, but for that he required his players to be on top form and give everything, and Jordan Obita led the way in that regard.

If you search through the stats from the first leg, you'll think that the 23-year-old had a pretty underwhelming game. One interception, two clearances, a couple of missed tackles. But if we've learned anything about this Reading team, it's that the stats mean bugger all.

The way that Obita covered ground from the wing-back position, faced with the Olympic pace of Ryan Fredericks and a Fulham side desperate to make their home advantage count, was nothing short of incredible.

His contribution to attack came in the form of a masterfully taken goal, off the back of a perfectly timed run, that adds to a growing repetoire of long-range strikes that the Englishman has added to his game this season.

If we are to delve into the raw figures from the game, we also see how his decision making was excellent. Take his passing, a 71% completion rate is nothing special but as we see from this Squawka graphic, his insistence on forward passes nailed the game strategy and prevented needless sideways balls that would only create pressure on the visitors' backline.

At 23, it's time Obita nails down his best position and it feels like this season has done that for the former Arsenal target. Played as a central midfielder and left winger early on in his Reading career, he's since been dropped in at left-back by successive coaches and that consistency is key.

With Stam trusting him as first-choice for both a four and five man defence, Obita's confidence has evidently grown and the commitment he showed at Craven Cottage was outstanding. I still consider him young and at times rather raw (possibly because he's only three weeks younger than myself) and so it's great to see him continue to develop.

Hopefully he can continue to push on and lead Reading to Wembley and beyond, because on Saturday he put in his most mature, most tactically proficient, and most dynamic performance in a Reading shirt to date.