Let’s not lie here, February was not a great month for Reading.
They ended January by beating Bournemouth to reignite hopes of finishing in the top two, but four weeks later, the mood had dropped considerably and now many fans are fearful of missing out on the top six altogether.
That’s what four defeats in seven games will do to you, and although two wins were recorded in February against Bristol City and Rotherham United, those sides are two of the most out-of-form clubs in the division.
But there are positives. Reading are still in fifth and in control of their own destiny with 13 games remaining. It’s also time for you to pick the player of the month from the shortlist below based on our game-by-game ratings.
In alphabetical order, the nominees are...
Average rating: 6.29 / Man of the match awards: 1st (Brentford H), 1st (Middlesbrough H), 3rd (Millwall H), 3rd (Bristol City A)
Liam Moore’s injury allowed McIntyre to have his longest run of consecutive starts as a senior player and the academy graduate started all seven games in February, winning our man of the match award twice. He is growing in confidence by the game and looking increasingly assured at the centre of defence, so much so that some supporters are keen for him to keep his place even though Moore is now fit again.
Average rating: 6.71 / Man of the match awards: 1st (Bristol City A), 1st (Rotherham United A), 2nd (Stoke City A), 2nd (Brentford H)
Part of the reason why McIntyre has done so well is because he has the experienced head of Michael Morrison alongside him. The 32-year-old played skipper in Moore’s absence and led by example with blocks, tackles and clearances aplenty. He even got two goals in February - including an absolute beauty against Bristol City - to take his tally up to four for the season, the third best in the squad. Morrodona.
Average rating: 6.20 / Man of the match awards: None
Confirmation of his summer departure to Bayern Munich may be imminent, but Omar Richards continues to put in performances that show why the German giants have been after him. Started on the bench against Millwall and Wycombe so can absolve himself of those defeats, while he has been generally solid and reliable when he has featured. Involved in Morrison’s goal at Rotherham with a dangerous cross into the box.
Average rating: 6.14 / Man of the match awards: 1st (Wycombe Wanderers A), 3rd (Stoke City A)
Following John Swift’s injury in early February, Andy Rinomhota spent most of the month as part of the attacking midfield trio. This proved to clearly not be his natural position, but he brought attributes to the role that make him one of the key cogs in Reading’s side. The academy graduate will work as hard as anyone and never stops running and pressuring opponents. Won the penalty against Wycombe which Lucas Joao failed to convert.
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.