Karl Hein: 4
I didn’t think Hein was the right signing to make in the first place, but I’ll try to take that opinion out of the equation here. After all, this was the 19-year-old’s senior debut in English football. But sadly it showed. His kicking was erratic at best and he just didn’t look comfortable with the ball at his feet – giving it away on a couple of occasions resulting in some nervy moments. I’d have Luke Southwood back in at the weekend.
Andy Yiadom: 5
I wasn’t too impressed with Yiadom for much of the game. I felt he was too lightweight in one-on-one situations, allowed players to get past him too easily and looked unusually off the pace going forward. He improved as the game wore on though, making a goal-saving tackle in the second half and proving a key threat as Reading pushed for a late equaliser.
Michael Morrison: 4
A year on from his wonder goal at Ashton Gate, Morrison found the net again – just at the wrong end. The skipper gave the ball away cheaply for the second goal and then stabbed the ball home past Hein as the ball was played in (not that he could do much else). It was a generally nervy night for Morrison in a game where he needed to show more leadership.
Tom Holmes: 5
I’ve seen Holmes get a bit of stick and I think a lot of it is probably fair. Like Morrison he looked nervy and was poor in possession, but he also saved Reading on a couple of occasions too with a vital clearance or a header away. Call it a generous score if you want, but I just can’t shake the image of Holmes at full-time out of my head – this is hurting him as much as it is the rest of us.
Baba Rahman: 5
Nothing particularly good or bad to say about Rahman. He didn’t do much wrong defensively but I would have liked to have seen him support the team going forward more, given the quality we know he has down the left flank.
Josh Laurent: 5
Laurent’s performance pretty much summed up the whole team. He was under par for 75 minutes of the game and let the whole affair pass him by before finding a new lease of life in the final 15, creating opportunities for teammates and showing clever feet to create an opening for a shot of his own.
Andy Rinomhota: 6
Worked harder than anyone else before being rather unfairly substituted midway through the second half. Sure, Reading improved without Rinomhota on the pitch but there is very little correlation there. The midfielder is a hustler and a harrier and that sort of character needs to be playing.
Tom Ince: 6
I very much enjoyed Ince’s debut. This team has been desperately crying out for a winger who gets on the ball and makes things happen and Ince looks to be that man. Not everything he tried came off, but there was a determination there to run at defenders, take them on, show quick feet and cut inside. Got his reward by winning the penalty.
Junior Hoilett: 6
A fairly similar performance to Ince. Hoilett was Reading’s main creative spark – at least until John Swift came on – and showed a willingness to drive forward. Played a couple of nice through balls too. Swift is obviously first choice in the no 10 role, but Hoilett put in a fairly decent audition to show he can play there if needed.
Tom Dele-Bashiru: 4
I just don’t feel Dele-Bashiru should be played out wide and hopefully Ince’s arrival and Hoilett’s return to fitness means we’ll see less of him in that position. He showed plenty of endeavour and always looked to make runs in behind – one of which resulted in Reading’s best chance of the first half – but there were no real complaints from me when he was the first to be substituted.
Lucas Joao: 5
Isolated for a lot of the game, but as we’ve noted before, that often isn’t the lone striker’s fault in this Reading team. Certainly plays the role better than the now departed George Puscas though – at least Joao can hold the ball up and has nimble enough footwork to make things happen.
John Swift: 6
Perhaps Pauno was saving Swift for this upcoming block of games or maybe he just dropped him because it wouldn’t be unfair to say he’s looked off the pace in recent games, but I still would have started him. After all, he is Reading’s best creative player and most of the team’s late pressure went through him. Expertly dispatched the penalty.
Danny Drinkwater: 5
There certainly wasn’t too much wrong with Drinkwater’s performance, but I’m not sure exactly what he gave Reading that Rinomhota didn’t – except maybe fresh legs. That said, I was convinced his ferocious late effort was going into the bottom corner before it was blocked.
Who was your man of the match against Bristol City? Vote below or through this link.