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Brian: Don't write us off

17 December 2012

McDermott reflects on Arsenal

Royals boss Brian McDermott was left to rue a first half performance which enabled Arsenal to march to all three points at Madejski Stadium.

A tactical change at half time made the game much tighter and the boss was pleased with our second 45 minutes, but a three-goal lead was too big a mountain to climb at the break.

Brian said, "The first half was tough, we didn't get close enough to them, they played really well and scored three goals. They were at the top of their game, the movement of the three midfield players, especially in the first half. We've caught them when they've just been beaten by Bradford, that would have hurt so they were right up for it and have got top drawer players who cost fortunes - so it was never going to be easy and we conceded an early goal as well. I think they would have beaten most teams tonight.

"But we had a good response in the second half, we changed the shape and got a couple of goals. We got closer to them and got in their faces more. At 4-2 I thought we had a chance, if we got a third you never know but Walcott killed it off.

"We had played Man Utd with 4-4-2 and that was a tight game, sometimes it happens. It was a positive change at half time, it worked for us second half. The fans got behind us again, second half they saw us having a real go. They'll forgive you as long as you're having a go."

It was another goal fest at the home of the Royals, but again the scoreline was against us. Brian said, "We've played Man Utd and scored three, we've got another two tonight, three against Fulham, we're scoring goals so it's obvious where we need to sort out our team. It's another game with seven goals at Madejski Stadium and we want those goals to be in our favour.

"Tonight Alfie came off the bench and scored, Hal came on after being injured. The bench was stronger abd we've got players coming back. Jimmy was back and scored, that was important.

"Now we've got home games to come, a lot of games to come which will be defining for us. We have to do better than we've done. We've got to keep going, we've done that over a period of time. It's our third year in this league and we want to stay in it. We were out of the league for four years and we'll be doing everything in our power to be in this division next season. Don't write us off.

"We've had good times in the last three years, whether our fans would say these are good times I don't know. Playing Manchester United, City, Arsenal, personally I think these are good times. We want to make sure we are in this league next season, that's the most important thing and we need our fans to stay with us. There's no point in blaming or pointing fingers. You have to graft together as a group. My belief is that things will change. I'm not enjoying the results but I'm enjoying the challenge."

Brian's post-match video verdict is on Reading FC Player now.

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