Reading manager Jaap Stam has refused to guarantee Jon Dadi Bodvarsson a starting place despite his hat-trick in the 3-0 FA Cup third-round replay win over League Two Stevenage.
Bodvarsson scored twice in the first half, with a far-post volley and a powerful header – both from Chris Gunter crosses.
Gunter was again the architect in the 64th minute, Bodvarsson turning in the Welshman’s low centre from close range to complete his treble.
Reading next face Brentford at home in the Championship on Saturday but Bodvarsson may not start.
“If you’re scoring three goals, you’re making a very good impression,” Stam said. “But we need to make a decision as to what’s going to happen on Saturday.
“If you’re looking for goals and somebody’s doing well, then he can have the opportunity to play. But I’m not saying that’s going to happen.
“Jon needs to show more when he comes on or starts. He always wants to play, he’s a very positive guy and is willing to work very hard for the team.”
Bodvarsson achieved the strange distinction of scoring his hat-trick in two different kits, after his side changed into their orange and black away shirts at the interval due to a clash with the visitors.
Reflecting on the match as a whole, Stam said: “It’s good to have a win and go to the next round of the Cup. It also gives the players a bit of extra confidence.
“Stevenage played quite direct early on, trying to put us under pressure with balls up in the air around the box.
“We then needed to get into our rhythm and try not to concede. We scored two goals and, after that, the players played more easily than before.
“In the second half, we tried to get the third goal and did. Everyone wanted to go forward but sometimes we took too long on the ball.”
Stevenage had an early Matt Godden goal disallowed before the Royals took control thanks to Bodvarsson.
Manager Darren Sarll said: “Up until Reading’s first goal, I thought we were the better side. It was very similar to the dynamic in the first match.
“Their first real shot in anger and they’re 1-0 up. You always find that when you play against teams in a higher league.
“If you do present them with an opening and you don’t take your openings, you always get punished. You get punished in the fourth division, let alone when you come up against a Championship side.
“I’m neither proud nor disappointed – I’m more frustrated.
“When you play a Championship side away, to think before the game you’re going to get 12 attempts on goal – you just don’t plan on that.
“You plan for getting maybe getting three or four different openings, maybe a mistake or a set play. But you don’t plan for the amount of attempts we had.”
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