Noel Hunt return is a God send for Royals

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Noel Hunt has celebrated his return to full fitness after a year out with two goals in two starts, helping to extend a very welcome run. In the last five games, at least one goal has been scored by a striker (two of these games have also seen double striker goals). So why the big deal of strikers doing what they are supposed to?

Since the sale of Kevin Doyle 18 months ago we have struggled to replace him with a natural goal scorer, a fact highlighted by only two of our goals in the first 12 games coming from the player up front. This taken with a failure to convert chances (only 3 of the 12 created Saturday hit the back of the net) and its possible to see why many Reading fans are not too happy.

A lot of the negativity also stems from past history. In the past ten years Royals fans have been spoilt with high scoring strikers including Jamie Cureton and the already mentioned Kevin Doyle. But even in these periods of players scoring for fun, we have never relied soley on one player for the goals.

In the record breaking promotion season every outfield player scored and Reading teams of the past ten years seem to have had the knack of scoring goals from anywhere on the pitch.

Even in the Premier League relegation season Reading still managed to score in almost every game, it was just the ability to concede anywhere from 2-7 goals that really let them down. And this season is no different, even with low scoring forwards, Reading are 7th in terms of goals scored with 27 goals scored by 12 different players.

Whilst we may not have that natural finisher, with Hunt fully fit what we have is a player who has consistently scored goals.

Neither Long or Church come to mind as a poacher, and Hunt really has that valuable knack of being in the right place at the right time. Hopefully with him back in the line up, and a switch to a more 4-4-2 formation the goals will continue to flow. And even if they don't, there are plenty of players ready to help out with a goal or two to show them how it’s done.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.

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