McDermott upbeat ahead of FA Cup clashBy Jonny Fordham
March 12, 2011
Brian McDermott feels Reading’s team spirit will be an advantage against the world-class talents of Manchester City as he looks to book Reading’s place at Wembley.
For the second consecutive season Royals have reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. It is also only the third time in their 140-year history that they have managed to get this far.
Having made the semi-finals just once, 84 years ago under the stewardship of dour teetoal Scotsman Angus Wylie, pragmatic Englishman Brian McDermott is hoping to join him in Royals folklore.
“We’ve got great spirit here and that’s not just something that happens over night. That’s been built over the last 14 months,” McDermott told getreading.
“This is the biggest game for us because it’s the next one and we’re trying to get into the next round of the cup. What has really pleased me is that since the Everton game we’ve beaten Middlesbrough and Ipswich Town and there is no better preparation than that.
“There’s been no talk about playing Man City and the players have all done exactly what we have asked of them.
“I’ll watch some videos on Man City before I decide how to play, but for me systems are irrelevant. I’ll set the team up to play a certain way and they’re more than comfortable to do that.”
Since the 1-0 win at Everton Reading have won both their Championship league games, scoring a total of eight goals and conceding three.
Hot-shot striker Shane Long and experienced left-back Ian Harte netted three each with Hal Robson-Kanu and Noel Hunt adding the rest.
However, McDermott is currently facing an injury crisis.
Skipper Matt Mills (groin), Andy Griffin (Achilles), Alex Pearce (thigh), Shaun Cummings (foot) are almost certainly out, while he will be hoping to call on the services of wingers Jimmy Kebe (knee) and Jobi McAnuff (hamstring) again.
It was the first time this season that neither of the duo played as Royals beat Ipswich 3-1 at Portman Road on Tuesday.
That win earned McDermott’s side the LMA’s performance of the week, chosen by a panel including Manchester United manager Sir Alex Fegruson – a figure of hate for all City fans.
But McDermott added: “It’s the third time we’ve picked up the award since I’ve been in charge and I’m delighted.
“Knowing that Sir Alex Ferguson is on there, well he’s the top man, so that’s very pleasing that they have recognised us.”