Reading have had a very inconsistent first-half of the campaign and will be hoping that it can improve in the coming months.
The Royals did manage to have some festive cheer on the weekend though, as they thrashed Derby 3-0 at the Madejski Stadium.
It was an impressive victory and one that meant Reading climbed up the table to 16th in the division, above Saturday’s opponents.
One player who stood out during the game was Yakou Meite, he was playing as a right-winger instead of his usual position at striker. The change seemed to work as the Ivorian was a menace for the Royals throughout.
He managed to win a penalty for Reading early on in the game, and that resulted in Scott Malone being sent-off for the Rams. Alongside that, he needed a late penalty himself which saw him score his fourth goal of the season and make Reading the only side in the bottom-half with a positive goal difference.
Alongside his goals his running was particularly impressive throughout the game as he terrorised the Derby defence, especially in the second-half. His five progressive runs were all met with exciting chances and he was able to constantly stretch a side who were playing with a man less.
Meite was Reading’s top scorer last season, and a number of his goals were finished because of his strength in holding off defenders. He showed that once more as he won 59% of his aerial duels which is an impressive figure considering who was in defence for the Rams.
The 23-year-old also showed that he was a menace to the opposition in the number of times he was fouled. In the game on Saturday he won a free-kick on six different occasions and had the belief to keep going despite being dragged down constantly.
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What he needs to do now is improve on his consistency and make sure that he keep showing the vigour to work hard for his team-mates. Sometimes when the going gets tough, Meite has come in for criticism due to his poor work rate.
If he can keep performing like this, then there’s no reason why he can’t keep his place in the side and carry on being a top player for the Royals.