It has been another frustrating season for Reading once again in many ways with expectations high following their strong close to last season under Jose Gomes.
But after a slow start, the Portuguese was sacked and replaced by Mark Bowen. Since then there has always been a struggle for consistency although the aim of avoiding relegation has certainly been achieved.
It is time to accentuate some positives, however, so here we take a look at THREE players who have far exceeded expectations this season…
The shot-stopper arrived to minimal fanfare in the summer with the Royals having already acquired the services of Joao Virginia from Everton as well.
The Toffees man started the first match of Rafael’s spell against Hull City, but after that, it was all down to the 29-year-old Brazillian, locking down the number one spot for every match since.
He has staked a serious claim for the goalkeeper of the season nod in the Championship, but even if he does not get it, he can sleep easy knowing he has surpassed expectations at the Madejski, a picture of consistency in an often erratic set-up.
The centre-back may have only played nine first-team matches this season but he has certainly managed to show his worth in those spells.
He played four matches in a row earlier in the season with injury taking Matt Miazga out of the action for a while and Mark Bowen still preferring a 3-5-2 formation.
When he switched back to four at the back, it was McIntyre who fell back down the pecking order but at 21, it is more than many will have expected from him this season, showing some serious promise for the future.
QUIZ: Can you name the club these 15 Reading players started their career at?
The Portuguese had a disappointing loan spell with Nottingham Forest during the 2018/19 campaign so there was some scepticism when Jose Gomes opted to bring him in during the summer.
However, he has really answered the critics he may have had at the start of proceedings.
He may have only bagged one goal and provided one more assist, but he has been a crucial, controlling presence at the base of the Reading midfield, allowing the more creative threats to play at their very best.