Striker follows in Alfie's footsteps to claim Sky Bet gong for April!Seven goals in seven games. Of course, Royals strike star Yann Kermorgant was this morning confirmed as the Sky Bet Player of the Month for April 2017!
The forward saw off competition from fellow nominees John Brayford (Burton Albion), Stefan Johansen (Fulham) and Glenn Murray (Brighton & Hove Albion) to receive the award and deserved recognition for some fantastic form that has seen him catapult Jaap Stam's Royals into thrid place ahead of Sunday's trip to Burton Albion.
The 35-year-old took his personal tally up to 17 for the season with the winner against Wigan last weekend – a goal which saw him equal his best ever personal tally for a season and, more importantly, secure his side three points that helped to secure a play-off place for the Royals with a game to spare.
Kermorgant becomes the first Reading player to pick up the accolade since Adam Le Fondre won the Player of the Month gong in January 2014 - having scored two home hat-tricks for Nigel Adkins' side against Bolton and Blackpool respectively.
He also becomes only the second French player to receive the Championship award since its inception in 2004, following in the footsteps of Brighton's Anthony Knockaert who picked up the award in April 2016!
April began with his crisp winner against Leeds United at Madejski Stadium in front of the Sky Sports cameras – the only goal of the game which earned the Royals all three points to leapfrog their play-off rivals in the Championship table.
Two more at home to Blackburn were followed by a consolation at Carrow Road before he bagged another brace at Nottingham Forest to spark a comeback at the City Ground that almost proved enough to cement a top six spot a fortnight ago.
But a fantastic month for the forward ended in goalscoring fashion last Saturday when he met Garath McCleary’s delivery with a towering header and forced home our winner against Wigan to sew it up!
“Yann has been a great personality and a great player for us this season. You’re never too old to improve and become an even better player and Yann has got a great mentality," manager Jaap Stam said.
"He has been very important for us throughout the season - even when he wasn’t scoring in every game - holding the ball up the field, in getting other players into a position so they can score and defensively as well he has helped his teammates out…especially at set pieces and when we’ve been defending leads towards the ends of games.
"And he has picked up this goalscoring form as the campaign has gone on - and it’s great that he is getting goals at this stage of the season…let’s hope he keeps on scoring for us!”