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Brian's Final Thoughts

17 August 2012

Royals boss ahead of Stoke

Brian McDermott spoke to Reading FC Player ahead of the big kick off this weekend - read some of the transcript below or click here to watch on our online TV station.

Brian, not long until the Premier League season – do you allow yourself to get excited or are you keeping your feet on the ground?

Listen, we’re looking forward to it now. We’ll prepare ourselves this week and we’ll be ready. I’m watching as much as I can on Stoke, looking at their strengths and weaknesses. Every opponent I’ve been up against has been tough and this will be exactly the same. 

How do you see Stoke – tough opponents I assume?

We have the utmost respect for Tony Pulis and Stoke and what they’ve achieved over a number of years. We came up at a similar time, but they stayed in the league. Tony’s got them into Europe and what he’s done has been phenomenal. He’s a role model for me and their club is a role model for Reading.

There's been an increase in coverage and press at the training ground – I guess that’s something you expect being in the Premier League?

With the Olympics being on there wasn’t much press here, but now it’s full on as the Premier League is nearly upon us. We have three games in a short space of time, but we’ll concentrate on the first one against Stoke. Hopefully it’ll be a full house at the Madejski – which is a great place to be.  It feels real for the first time since we got promotion. Especially doing the radio show, having lots of TV around the place - it's finally sinking in.  

As you say, a full house looks likely and that will be vital for the players, as it was towards the end of last season?

I felt that in the Nottingham Forest game, the crowd got us over the line. They more than played their part and I know that they will do that again because we need every single one of them. I sense the buzz around the place is exactly the same despite a pre-season break and the arrival of new players. It was important to add players who buy in to what we’re about. The team is more important than the individual – that’s the ethos of this football club. That’s something that we need to continue and we certainly will.

How are your nerves before games like these?

I get nervous for about half an hour leading up to kick-off – I’d rather be anywhere else in the world! But when 3 o’clock arrives, I’m fine.

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