Brian McDermott believes that a brave performance is required from the Royals on Monday evening, if they are to pull off a shock and end Manchester United’s hopes of another historic treble.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s men are aiming to repeat their memorable achievement from 1999 – when they added the FA Cup and Premier League title to an unforgettable Champions League victory over Bayern Munich.
“Going into a game like this we have to be brave. We have to get the details right, we have to see decisions go our way and of course we have to play well,” said Brian.
“If those things come together you give yourselves a chance of getting a result. Every game you need to be at your best mentally and physically. Manchester United have been winning leagues, winning cups and competing in the Champions League for years. They’re used to this situation at the top end. We watched their game with Real Madrid as a staff the other night, it was football at the top level, fantastic to watch, great players and what football is all about.”
United are expected to make some changes to the line up that picked up a draw with Real Madrid last week, but McDermott doesn’t believe that will make the task any easier for his squad.
“Six Alex is saying that he’s going to make changes, but if you look at the changes that he could make - the players that could come in are top, top players. He has talked about the squad he has now compared to the team that won the Champions League in 1999 – he thinks it’s better now, and he would know. Sir Alex has a burning desire to be successful, it summed it up for me that he was at our game with Stoke. That tells you everything about the man.”
Whilst maintaining his own absolute determination to pick up a result, Brian admitted that he will appreciate the privilege of managing a side at Old Trafford.
“It means more to me because I’m older, I’m 51, I know what it means to manage a side at Man United. You think that’s going to happen year in, year out when you’re young – but now I appreciate every single day. I’ve worked at conference level, been in the youths, in the reserves, it’s a slow process to get to where I’ve got to now. I’ve worked very hard and tonight is a great occasion.”
Watch all the pre-match build up on Reading FC Player