November was a pretty rocky month for Reading. It included the bulk of the losing streak - defeats to Preston North End, Stoke City and Bournemouth - but also the recent upturn. The month ended with a point gained at Millwall and then one of the best performances of the season: Reading looking dominant in Saturday’s 3-1 triumph over Bristol City.
As ever, we want to know who you think was the stand-out individual performer. We’ve narrowed your choices down to a four-man shortlist, depending on goal contributions, average grades from our player ratings and man-of-the-match awards as voted by you after each game.
Without further ado, here are your candidates in alphabetical order...
Average rating: 6.67/10 / Man of the match awards: 1st (Millwall A)
Holmes hasn’t played as much football as others on this list, getting two and a bit games in November, but he’s still had a big impact on the first team, registering the highest average rating of anyone in the squad. After Tomas Esteves made a few mistakes which were punished by the opposition - against Stoke City and Bournemouth - Holmes was the man to come in at right back to shore up Reading’s defence.
The academy graduate’s return coincided with a defensive improvement. Although the Cherries scored twice after his second-half introduction, he did help solidify his part of the pitch after it had exposed earlier on. Holmes kept his place at The Den a few days later, winning a man-of-the-match award for his solid showing, and then put in an even better performance on Saturday, almost scoring with a powerful header.
Holmes will likely keep his place going forwards, starting with Wednesday’s trip to Wednesday, and I’ll be hoping to see him grow in confidence as an attacking threat.
Average rating: 5.6 / Man of the match awards: 3rd (Bristol City H)
Joao doesn’t do as well as our other contenders in this shortlist on the basis of average rating or man-of-the-match awards, but he did keep up his steady stream of goals. His penalty at Bournemouth, tight-angle finish at Millwall and close-range effort at home to Bristol City lifted his tally for the season up to 12 in all competitions already, demonstrating just how reliable a source of goals he’s been.
This was probably his weakest month so far in terms of all-round play, but he did put in a vintage Joao shift at home to Bristol City last time out. He fashioned chances for himself out of little on several occasions, and even managed to set up Ovie Ejaria for a crucial opener.
Average rating: 6.2 / Man of the match awards: 3rd (Millwall A), 2nd (Bristol City H)
Although Olise featured in all five league games in November, his story of his month was that of fighting to start to games. Alfa Semedo was preferred to the youngster against Stoke City and Bournemouth, after the home loss to Preston, but Olise ended the month having proved that he should be one of the first names on the team sheet.
This was largely due to his assists against Millwall and Bristol City which were absolutely sensational. At The Den, his first time clipped ball which played in Lucas Joao took out the whole Lions defence in one swing of the boot. Then against the Robins, he struck a crisp outside of the foot through ball for Yakou Meite to run on to and score. Both passes had little margin for error, but Olise executed them perfectly. What a talent he is.
Average rating: 6.2 / Man of the match awards: 3rd (Stoke City H), 1st (Bournemouth A), 2nd (Millwall A)
Mr Consistent barely put a foot wrong in November - as has been the case all season. He has really made the left-back spot his own after the departures of Jordan Obita and Tyler Blackett and it is testament to him that this is his third player of the month nomination of the campaign.
Richards is a real threat down the left flank, consistently making overlapping runs before whipping dangerous balls into the box. The defensive side of his game has come on leaps and bounds too.
So those are the four candidates, but which of them impressed you the most over the course of November? You can vote for your choice in the poll below, or if it doesn’t show up on your device, go through this link here.