Reading manager Steve Clarke has insisted that winger Nick Blackman’s best position isn’t up front, reports GetReading.
The former Blackburn Rovers man signed for Reading in 2013 from League One side Sheffield United for a fee of around £1.2 million, snubbing a move to Crystal Palace to link up with the Royals.
His career in Berkshire started slowly, with fans growing frustrated with him as he showed clear promise, but never seemed to perform on a regular basis.
But this season he’s been on fire having scored 11 goals already, and was deployed as a striker after Matej Vydra missed a couple of weeks through injury. But since being shifted back out on to the wing, his form has declined and is has not scored in four.
This has lead Reading fans to call for Clarke to put him back up front, but the Scotsman has claimed that he’s better on the right, telling Get Reading: ‘On the pitch. It doesn’t matter where I play Nick he’s always one of our best three performers.
‘I know people are banging on about him playing as a striker – but he’s not a target striker. He needs space to run into. He needs to get on the ball, create chances, have shots at goal.
‘I didn’t think you can look at Nick and say he’s suffering because he’s not playing in one position. I can play him in any position and he’s outstanding.’
Reading are on the slump as a whole at the moment, and are winless in five after falling to a 2-0 defeat yesterday against Cardiff City.
Reading fans… What do you make of this news? What have you made of Blackman this season? Where do you think he plays best? Do you think his slump in form is a major factor in the teams drop in form on the whole? Let us know in the comments below.