February may be the shortest month of the year, but it was still a jam-packed 29 days for Reading as they played seven games - starting with a penalty shoot-out win over Cardiff in the FA Cup before six hard slogs in the Championship.
It was a month in which we saw one of the best performances of the season in a 3-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday, and arguably one of the worst too, as Wigan were victors at the Mad Stad by the same scoreline. In addition, defeats to the top two (West Brom and Leeds), a draw with Hull and a win over Barnsley cemented the Royals as very much a mid-table side.
There were no particular stand-out individual performances last month, but based on our player ratings and man of the match polls, we’ve created a shortlist for the Player of the Month award. In alphabetical order...
Average rating: 5.80 / Man of the Match awards: 3rd (West Brom H)
A solid if unspectacular month for the captain, which I suppose is as good as what you can expect from a centre-back. We know what Moore is about now - he’s never afraid to put his body on the line for the team, and no less than three of our Player Ratings articles in February mentioned him making a vital block or two. He perhaps could even have won a penalty against Leeds when he went upfront at Elland Road as Reading pushed for a late equaliser.
Average rating: 5.50 / Man of the Match awards: 1st (Hull City H), 1st (West Brom H), 1st (Leeds A)
A slightly bizarre month for Pele, who won our January accolade. He had a couple or disappointing games against Cardiff and Wigan, and the team’s two wins came in the two games he didn’t start - Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley. However, he also won three Man of the Match awards as he continued to provide Reading with a physical presence in midfield and drive the team forward from his holding role.
Average rating: 6.50 / Man of the Match awards: 1st (Wigan H), 2nd (West Brom H), 2nd (Barnsley H)
The Brazilian continues to prove himself as one of the Championship’s best goalkeepers and a reliable presence between the sticks for the Royals. It’s testament to the defence in front of him that Rafael wasn’t necessarily overwhelmed with shots in any of Reading’s February fixtures, but he still made a couple of vital saves to keep the team in games, or in the case of Wigan, keep the scoreline down.
Average rating: 6.40 / Man of the Match awards: N/A
No man of the match awards in February for Rinomhota, but he still achieved the second highest rating in the squad as he suggested that maybe he deserves more of a chance than Mark Bowen has given him. Whenever he features, the academy graduate gives Reading an intensity and energy that few other players provide. He also came off the bench in the cup replay against Cardiff to score an equaliser.
So those are the four candidates, but which of them impressed you the most over the course of February? 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.