Sam Walker: 6
Forced into a couple of late saves on a pretty quiet night. A promising glimpse at the new goalkeeper with initial suspicions that he is an absolutely massive human confirmed.
Andy Yiadom: 7
It is getting rather difficult to foresee Chris Gunter’s way back into the team amid Yiadom’s early days in Berkshire. The ex-Barnsley right-back is playing like he’s the one who’s clocked over 250 appearances for the club.
Liam Moore: 7
No dramas. No drama in amongst the fans as he led the team out, or as his name was read out. And, most importantly, no drama on the pitch. Calm, intelligent, and living up to his status as captain for the night. Hard to see why he won’t be in the team on Saturday.
Tiago Ilori: 6
Also solid and dependable, shifting across to right-back late on when required. The less Ilori hits the headlines, the better, and he’s quietly gone about his business so far this season.
Tyler Blackett: 6
Ditto. Looked confident in defence and only lacked a bit of combination play when coming into attack.
Yakou Meite: 6
It looks like Meite will be sticking around for the foreseeable future and hopefully he’ll develop and diversify his game in the meantime. Took his goal excellently, as he excels whenever he’s asked to use his pace or physicality. In the other moments... he’s less good.
Leandro Bacuna: 5
The Birmingham fans certainly enjoyed his skied shot from the edge of the area in the first half and a similar error in controlling the ball a short while later underlined that it’s tough to know exactly what Bacuna’s greatest strength is. Destined for a squad role in the coming months.
John Swift: 5
Started badly, didn’t grow into the game, scored a great free-kick, and ended up somewhere in the middle. Swift seems to be such a confidence played that it’s no surprise he perked up after the goal, but in the 70 minutes beforehand his final ball was wayward, movement timid, and he misplaced even the simplest of passes.
Mo Barrow: 5
Didn’t get into the game except for one rapid run down the flank. Withdrawn after picking up an injury that he initially tried to play through.
Marc McNulty: 6
There’s definitely something there. The Scot has a creative spark and does well in finding space in between the lines. Now it’s a question of gaining consistency, experience in dealing with strong defenders, and spotting a chance to grab that all important first goal.
Sam Baldock: 6
Complements McNulty well in his pace and preference to sit on the shoulder of the defender. Didn’t quite click for him in front of goal but played a key part in Meite’s opener.
Pelle Clement: 5
Introduced for Barrow and his lack of impact makes it hard to see Paul Clement ever using the Dutchman by choice, but injury problems could elevate him to a starting spot against Bolton nonetheless.
Andy Rinomhota: 6
Perhaps not the midfield enforcer that the team are crying out for at the moment, the academy graduate made a couple of decent actions off the bench while also getting booked.
John O’Shea: 10
A flawless debut from the veteran defender. Made a number of key interventions and was an exemplary force in the backline for the final ten minutes, and the crowd loved every moment of it. And I’m not even being that sarcastic.
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