Joe Lumley: 5
Did little in the game tonight outside of pick the ball out of his net twice. Made a good save right before the half to deny Preston North End from a dangerous-looking shot, but as his post-shot xG numbers show, Lumley rarely makes a save that you wouldn’t expect him to make.
Confident and collected, but will need to improve his shot stopping for Reading to seriously consider going back in for him after his loan expires.
Andy Yiadom: 4
Won Reading’s penalty with a clever piece of running but also lost the ball dangerously in his own half several times today. Looked tired after starting two games in four days.
Tom Holmes: 6
Reading’s best centre back this evening, and unlucky to be on the losing team. Stayed tight to his man, and even gave McIntyre every chance to close down Evans and provide a challenge before the striker scored the second of his brace.
Holmes is the youngest player in the Championship to play every minute this season, and it’s a joy to watch him grow up before our eyes. Hopefully with Sam Hutchinson back soon he’ll be asked to do less to cover for his defensive partners.
Tom McIntyre: 4
Caught out for Preston’s second goal (and boy did Tom Ince let him know about it). McIntyre did well to drive the ball forward a few times in the second half, but looked rusty after missing midweek in Luton.
Helped to keep Preston quiet in the first half but in truth, he wasn’t asked to deal with too much dangerous running.
Baba Rahman: 5
I know that Rahman hasn’t inspired confidence from a lot of Reading fans this season, but I actually thought he was the better of the starting wing-backs tonight. He’s still not playing as well as NGW did during his most recent starts, but he did at least attempt to take on his man a few times, and was close to making dangerous plays several times.
Still, he has proved more defensively suspect that last season so far this year and that will have to improve if he wants to keep his place.
Junior Hoilett: 4
Disappointing to see Hoilett put in a forgettable performance given the full back he was attacking was booked within 25 minutes. Whipped in a few nice crosses during Reading’s short period of pressure around their penalty win, but didn’t bring out the defence-lacerating dribbling skills that have defined his Reading career so far.
Mamadou Loum: 5
Did well to help bail Yiadom out a few times in the first half when the captain was caught in possession. It’s a shame that all of Loum’s best moments come when he’s facing his own goal though.
Offers precious little going forward, though at least in his case he’s clearly not been brought in to provide that spark. Substituted shortly after a bad tackle led to him receiving a deserved booking.
Jeff Hendrick: 3
A flatline going forward, A saloon door in defence, and all the physical prowess of a Shih Tzu. Honestly, what is the point of Jeff Hendrick? What does he do outside of retaining turgid possession and stalling attacks? He would have fit in great in Jaap Stam’s second season.
Hardly played a single pass forward all game. It boggles the mind that he continues to be selected ahead of the energetic Tyrese Fornah.
Tom Ince: 5
Bless him, he tried, which is something you can always say about Thomas, but this wasn’t his best game.
Tasked with providing a creative spark in the first half, Ince tried out his passing range, but unfortunately usually resorted to undercooked chipped through balls that failed to trouble Preston’s reliable backline. Really, it feels like he should be unleashed higher up the pitch where his delicate dribbling skills can flourish.
Played a part in winning the penalty in the second half and went close with a late effort that almost kissed the post.
Yakou Meite: 4
Let down by the lack of service during his time, but did nothing special outside of registering Reading’s only shot on target in the first half with a tame shot. Difficult to remember much outside of that though.
Andy Carroll: 4
Offered very little going forward, though again wasn’t helped by a complete lack of service, and a very effective piece of man marking from Preston. Whereas against Luton, Carroll was allowed to terrorise the backline by buzzing all over the pitch, tonight the big Geordie was effectively marked out of the game.
Carroll’s habit of throwing himself to the ground if he can’t collect the ball needs to stop too. Yes, some of these are legitimate fouls, but he should know that referees are going to give him a hard time given his size. It’s not fair, but he’s a big body: he needs to be stronger.
Shane Long: 5
Dropped deeper multiple times to pick up the ball and drive at defenders: something that the rest of his striking competition tonight failed to do. He always seems committed to the cause and close to the action when he plays, and should likely get a start ahead of Carroll next time out.
Lucas Joao: 4
Slotted his penalty away calmly but did precious little else. Where oh where, is the Lucas Joao who could win games by himself? It feels as though November 2020 is a decade away, not 24 months.
Tyrese Fornah: 6
Every time Fornah gets on the pitch I become more and more baffled that Hendrick starts games. Fornah is clearly the better player. Clearly. The only person who seems unable to see it is Paul Ince.
Pushes forward with purpose and power and does a good job of being positive with the ball every time he gets on it. Tied a Preston defender’s legs in knots with a triplet of Cryuff turns late in the game, and did amazingly well to get a cutback off from the corner that Reading’s strikers failed to attack properly.
If Fornah can just learn how to slide a pass through the backline then he is going to have a seriously bright future.
Who was your MOTM against Preston? Vote below or through this link.