Midfielder turned forward Nick Blackman has rocketed his Reading side up to a play-off spot in the Sky Bet Championship, jumping over Middlesbrough, Hull City and Burnley.
Reading boss, Steve Clarke has looked like a genius after moving Blackman from the winger/midfield role up in front to striker. Since then, Blackman has scored ten goals in the league and eleven overall in just thirteen starts. Reading has six wins in the past eight (including their most recent 1-1 draw against Rotherham on Tuesday night, which Blackman also scored in) and Blackman has the Royals hoping to achieve their ultimate goal of promotion into the Premier League.
The 25-year-old was quick to let everyone know that no one is becoming comfortable this early in the season: “Everyone is working really hard on the training ground. We’re not getting complacent – we’re just going about our business and taking each game as it comes, everyone is enjoying playing with everyone, and you can see the quality of some of the link-up play we have got when we go forward. It’s frightening sometimes.”
Most clubs throughout the Championship will be scared about Reading’s forward progress up the pitch mostly due to the form Blackman has been in. During Tuesday night’s match against Rotherham, Blackman returned to an attacking midfield role, contributing to Reading’s 54% possession time along with fellow midfielders Oliver Norwood, Garath McCleary, Lucas Piazon, and Daniel Williams.
Blackman scored a rocket in the top shelf outside of the box and buried it past the Rotherham goalkeeper. The goal was assisted by Oliver Norwood. The draw to Rotherham put the Royals at third place behind a massive three points for Birmingham, and their win over Bolton Wanderers. The Englishman is in the middle of extending his contract with Reading and many supporters are urging the side to get the deal done. However, Blackman’s form has not been disregarded by other clubs. Whether Blackman chooses to stay at Reading or not has yet to be seen, but at this point in this season Blackman would be expected to stay put and wait for a bigger club to come calling after he gets Reading back to the Premiership in May.