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Boss' Brighton boost

7 August 2012

Brian happy with uplift

Royals boss Brian McDermott said a draw was the least his team deserved from their friendly match with Brighton on Tuesday night.

Hal Robson-Kanu's late header saw the game finish 1-1, and Reading put in a positive display, particularly in the second half. Brighton had taken a first half lead with a questionable penalty, and the Royals could indeed have won the game late on when Noel Hunt headed wide.

Brian said, "It was a good game and I was really pleased we got something from it, we deserved it for the second half. In the first half we were a bit too nice, we didn't press as well as we would have liked. But after the break we did that, upped the tempo and got crosses into the box, created chances.

"We had opportunities, we possibly could have won it and they didn't really have anything clear in the second half, but Gus has put together a good side here and I am sure they will do well in the Championship."

Robson-Kanu scored a second goal in four days with a good back post header from Shaun Cummings' cross, and Brian was pleased with his team's endeavour. He said, "It was a great header, and you always know our players will keep going to the end, they have done it again tonight.

"Hal is part of a great group of players, and whatever team we put out for Stoke, everyone will be supporting each other. We have 38 games plus the cup, a lot of matches, and I've got two players for each position which is what I wanted. I was delighted for Hal, he came on on Saturday and did really well, and tonight he got a goal that got us a result."

McDermott also paid tribute to Michel Kuipers, whose testimonial year was celebrated through this match. Even though he has moved on to Crawley, the 'keeper still clearly has great respect from the Brighton fans.

Brian said, "I don't know Michel but Steve Coppell does and spoke very highly of him, which is good enough for me. Steve was integral in arranging this game and I just wish they'd taken him off a bit earlier because he make a fantastic save at 0-0!"

Looking on pre-season overall, Brian said, "We've got one more friendly to go and then we start the real business, we're looking forward to it. We are getting there, the pre-season aim is to have minutes on the pitch. Whatever team we pick we will work with and I know we will be ready. With the Olympics the Barclays Premier League has taken a back seat but we've been under the radar for years anyway! The buzz around the country for the games has been phenomenal.

"Now hopefully our crowd will come out for us this weekend when we Palace and maybe the weather will be decent for once as well! It's only been good here for four days all summer and we were in Portugal at the time!"

Tickets for Saturday's game are cheaper in advance at only £5 concessions and £10 adults. Buy in advance through 0844 249 1871, readingfcdirect.co.uk or at the ticket office.

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