Premier League rewards Royals duo
The Royals' exceptional form so far in 2013 has been richly rewarded in the form of two highly prestigious awards - manager Brian McDermott has been named as the Barclays Premier League Manager of the Month for January, while strike hero Adam Le Fondre has won the Barclays Premier League Player of the Month accolade.
It is the first Premier League award won by Brian McDermott and Alfie becomes the first Reading player in history to pick up such a Premier League accolade.
Following exhilarating wins over West Bromwich Albion and then away at Newcastle, two goals from Le Fondre helped McDermott's side earn a famous 2-2 home draw against Chelsea at the end of a month which saw the Royals edge out of the relegation zone with seven invaluable points.
In achieving every one of those results, McDermott introduced Alfie to great effect; he scored from the spot to draw us level with the Baggies at home, emerged off the bench to chest the Royals level and then beautifully curl home a second for a brilliant win at St James', before scoring with both feet late on against Rafael Benitez's men in a crescendo of a finish at Madejski Stadium at the end of the month.
In fact, Le Fondre scored five goals from the bench in just 68 minutes on the pitch to earn Reading results in those three fixtures, averaging a goal every 13 minutes, 36 seconds!
The month also included two comprehensive FA Cup victories, first at Crawley Town and then at home to Sheffield United, and McDermott deservedly fended off competition from esteemed fellow nominees Sir Alex Ferguson, Roberto Mancini and Harry Redknapp in winning the award.
Alfie, meanwhile, scored twice in that FA Cup win at Crawley, taking his January tally to seven in total - a magnificent month for the Royals goal poacher, who beat Julio Cesar, Leighton Baines and Luis Suarez to the trophy.
We become the first club to 'do the double' since Scott Parker and Harry Redknapp picked up both trophies at Spurs in November 2011.
Everyone connected with Reading Football Club would like to proudly congratulate both Brian, Adam and the rest of the team on their fantastic efforts last month and throughout the Premier League campaign so far.