October started in promising fashion for Reading with a 3-1 win over Huddersfield Town and a 1-1 draw against Norwich City, but it would in fact turn out to be a tricky period for Paul Ince’s side in which they slipped from third in the table to 11th.
They would taste victory just once more - a 2-0 triumph over Bristol City - and instead go on their worst run of form this season by losing three games in a row to Queen’s Park Rangers (2-1), West Bromwich Albion (1-0) and Swansea City (3-2). The month also ended in a defeat in agonising fashion as the Royals conceded a 93rd-minute goal to lose 2-1 to Burnley, having been denied a clear penalty just moments earlier.
Nonetheless, it is time to pick a winner for the player of the month award. Below is our three-man shortlist in alphabetical order, pulled together from our player ratings and man of the match votes.
Average rating: 6.75 / Man of the match awards: 1st (Huddersfield H), 2nd (QPR A), 2nd (West Brom H)
Brought into the side at the start of the month to replace the injured Baba Rahman and looked much more confident than in his shaky early season performances. There are still some question marks over Guinness-Walker’s defensive ability but he is impressive going forward with some encouraging runs and dangerous crosses - and he’s got a remarkable long throw on him. He was perhaps unfairly dropped for Rahman after the West Brom loss.
Average rating: 6.29 / Man of the match awards: 1st (Norwich H), 1st (West Brom H)
A third successive player of the month nomination for Hoilett, who continues to be one of the unsung stars of Reading’s season so far. The Canadian is now so comfortable in his role as a wing-back that you would barely know that it was an unfamiliar position to him before the campaign. He works hard, is solid defensively and a threat in attack. Plus, he was the only player to win two of our man of the match votes in October.
Average rating: 6.57 / Man of the match awards: 1st (Burnley A), 2nd (Swansea A), 3rd (Huddersfield H), 3rd (West Brom H)
Could Ince take home his third player of the month award of the season? There is certainly a very good case for it. His performances may have dropped off slightly in October in line with the team’s dip in form but he remained the most consistent attacking threat. Ince added two well-taken goals to his tally against Swansea and Burnley and also provided assists against Huddersfield and Bristol City with deliveries from corners.
Who is your Player of the Month for September? Vote in the poll below or, if it doesn’t show up on your device, click this link.