FROM a League Two goal machine to a Premier League super-sub.
Adam Le Fondre has come a long way in the space of 18 months.
The former Rotherham United striker, nicknamed ‘Alf’, is in a rich vein of form and is expected to start for Reading when they entertain stuttering Sheffield United in the fourth round of the FA Cup this weekend.
In seven of the Royals last eight matches, Le Fondre has been named on the bench. His only start came in the third round tie at Crawley Town where he scored a brace.
But the Stockport-born player has netted five times in his last three outings, including a superb double after coming off the substitute bench at Newcastle United last Saturday which helped the Royals clinch a vital come from behind victory in their battle to avoid relegation.
Le Fondre admitted: “I don’t like being called super-sub but I got the chance and scored - that’s pretty much what I’m about.”
Indeed, Le Fondre plundered 30 goals in 51 appearances as Rotherham just missed out on going up in 2010 when they lost a thrilling League Two play-off final against Dagenham and Redbridge. The following season, Le Fondre notched 24 goals in 49 matches. He registered four in five starts at the beginning of the 2010/11 campaign, prompting Reading to table a bid, believed to be in the region of £350,000. Rotherham accepted their offer and the 26-year-old played an integral role in the club gaining promotion to the top flight.
This season, Le Fondre averages nearly a goal every other game, bagging 10 in 22 appearances.
“Adam (Le Fondre) is an inspired player for me,” said Reading manager Brian McDermott. “He’s got great spirit, he’s a bubbly character – he loves football, loves playing, loves training - he’s just instinctive.
“A couple of years ago he was playing for Rotherham in League Two and look where he is now.”
Did you know? United boast two former Reading players in their ranks. Dave Kitson is expected to spearhead the League One side’s attack while left-back Marcus Williams could also feature.