Should have done better with the equaliser. Although the strike was a powerful one, Rafa got to it and, for me, should got more behind it to keep it out. That said, he did pull off an excellent save later in the second half, tipping over a header from a corner that looked to be going in. That, together with some decent stops in the first half, pushes him up to a 6 in my book, even if he was at fault for 1-1.
Andy Yiadom: 5
Played most of the game at right back but went over to left back in the second half after McIntyre’s injury. Defensively he (naturally) looked more assured in his favoured position, with him and Coventry left wing back Ian Maatsen coming out on top on different occasions. He also had more joy going forwards on that side, albeit without much end product. He looked much more exposed defensively at left back though, and Coventry looked dangerous down that side in the second half.
Michael Morrison: 7
If Reading had been able to hold on for a point or three, they would have had Michael Morrison to thank. He came up with some vital blocks and clearances in the second half when pressure was mounting on the Royals’ goal, showing the resolve and aerial presence that we’ve come to value in him.
Liam Moore: 6
I would have given him a similar write-up to Morrison, with Moore standing up to second-half pressure well. But he was poor for the winner, choosing to slow down and call for offside rather than closing down the Coventry man. He may not have got there, but he had to do his all to put a block in.
Tom McIntyre: 5
Didn’t look too bad defensively in the first half in his unfamiliar left-back spot, and didn’t add too much going forwards. He was forced off through injury after the break though, and did well to take up every possible second in his lengthy trudge off the pitch.
Andy Rinomhota: 5
Little presence in the middle of the park, and given that he’s in the side as an extra defensive midfielder to provide just that, I expected more. He did come up with one crucial moment though: a really well-timed interception at the back post in the second half which was crucial in preventing a tap-in.
Josh Laurent: 5
Similar thoughts to Rinomhota really. Reading’s defence needed more protection from the midfielders in front of them, and Laurent didn’t add that. Came close to scoring in the second half though when his well-struck shot forced a smart save in the bottom corner.
Femi Azeez: 5
Given a more withdrawn role than he’s had previously, going to the right wing rather than partnering another striker up top. He looked bright at times but didn’t get much joy out of the Coventry defence, Put in a dangerous cross early in the second half that, on another day, would have created a goal. Brought off for Hoilett.
John Swift: 6
Looking at his all-round game, this wasn’t one of Swift’s better afternoons. Although he got on the ball a fair amount, he seemed to lack sharpness and gave it away a little too cheaply. That said, he won and converted the penalty for Reading’s first-half breakthrough. Familiar to what we’ve seen before, Swift found a way of coming up with end product even when not at his best.
Tom Dele-Bashiru: 6
Again given the left-wing spot in Reading’s 4-2-3-1. He showed promise with some good energy and nice touches, and certainly looks good technically. Although Hoilett’s arrival will probably make this irrelevant, I’m not sold on him as a winger; TDB lacks the end product to be a real threat on that side, and I’d prefer to see what he can do in the centre. He’s got a creative mind, and that would be useful in the double pivot.
George Puscas: 6
He’s come in for flak recently for some supposedly poor performances, but I thought Puscas was absolutely fine today. Nothing outstanding, but he put himself about well up top, had more presence and showed some nice touches, keeping the ball and bringing others into the game more effectively than he has done previously.
While he - again - lacked service to be a real goal threat, he was involved in the Royals’ opener when he fed Swift for the penalty. Less involved in the second half as Reading sat back.
Tom Holmes: 6
Played much of the second half at right back and did a decent enough job without looking too exposed. Put a header over the bar from Swift’s corner late on just before the winner.
Junior Hoilett: 5
Came onto the right wing in place of Azeez and added little, even if there was the mitigating factor of Coventry being in control of the game at that point. Looked sloppy really.
Jahmari Clarke: N/A
Pretty bizarrely he was initially given the job of going to the left wing in place of Dele-Bashiru. For a rookie who’s very much a striker (and a massive one at that), playing him out of position was a bad oversight from Pauno. Clarke (through little fault of his own) struggled to protect Yiadom and was eventually swapped with Puscas.
Who was your MOTM against Coventry City? Vote below or through this link.