The wait is over. After a frustratingly empty fixture list top flight football is back with a Berkshire bang this weekend, as the Royals take on Tottenham Hotspur in a Super Sunday clash.
Brian McDermott is determined that those supporters who have waited patiently for their third Premier League clash of the season won’t be disappointed – despite the daunting task posed by his multi-million pound opponents.
“It’s been such a long time since we’ve played, we had a game in Ireland which was useful for us but we’re ready to get going now,” he said.
“We’re playing at home and our home record is very, very good. I watched Spurs play against Norwich, but I think the make-up of the team could be different because of the players they’ve brought in. We want to be an exciting team to watch, and anyone that watched us at Chelsea would say that we played really, really good football – and certainly should have got a result. We want a performance on Sunday, training has been absolutely excellent.”
Setting aside the latest arrivals of Dempsey and Dembele, naturally one of the most talked about visitors to Madejski Stadium this weekend is a certain Gylfi Sigurdsson.
The Icelandic midfielder flourished as a Reading player, especially under the management of McDermott – and his former boss is in no doubt as to the reception the Royals Academy product can look forward to this weekend.
“He will get a great welcome. Gylfi never overly wanted to leave, that’s my gut feel – it was probably the right thing for him, and the club needed that money at that time – so the deal was a good deal for the club.
“I remember at the time, for me personally – it broke my heart to see him walk out the door. He’s such a good guy, we’ve got great relationships with Gylf and his family.”
Finally, Brian had words of praise for his opposite number – and has backed ‘AVB’ to enjoy a long and prosperous career in the game.
“He’s been a successful manager, and he will be again – what he did at Porto was fantastic – he had an 80% win ratio, including the Europa League. You don’t have to be a top, top player to be a manager – you have to have done your hours and done your work.
“He has an amazing story, so does Mourinho and Wenger – there are more stories like this, people are getting managers jobs having done something different.”