Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson took time out to praise Brian McDermott for what he has achieved in his reign at the Madejski Stadium.
Fergie, who has won countless individual and team honours with the Red Devils, also believes Reading are a club improving over time and will provide a stern test for United.
“When Brian became manager there it took him a little bit of time to get his ideas across but look at the second half of last season – they came from nowhere to win the league.
"They’re definitely a club that are improving and although they’ve not had a lot of wins, they're always hard games against them. I expect what we got at Norwich – a really difficult game."
In return, Brian paid tribute to the 12-time Premier League Champion - who, as Brian told, offered the Royals boss some wise words of advice last season.
"It was a one off," Brian explained. "I spoke to his son, and just asked him to give me a call – I’d heard in the past that he had spoken to previous younger managers, young in terms of games – and I just wanted to speak to him about something.
"He picked the phone up, gave me a phone call and we had a chat for ten minutes. It was very important to me and tells you the calibre of the man."