Royals boss hails togetherness
Brian McDermott has praised the unity within his squad, and the club as a whole, following a 1-0 win over West Ham on Saturday afternoon.
The Royals players, substitutes and all, came onto the field after the final whistle to celebrate with their fans – and McDermott hailed the ‘unique’ atmosphere created behind the scenes at Madejski Stadium.
"This club is unique - I've said that from the first day I got the job,” said Brian.
“We're in a unique situation. I spoke to Alfie and told him that 'maybe it's not a day for you today' and he knows that. I spoke to Danny Guthrie when he came off - we needed to get another striker and Danny said it was the right decision.
"You see players coming off football pitches and throwing shirts and people - but everyone to a man was in that dressing room. The players that played, the players on the bench and the players that weren't on the bench. What's wrong with that?”
The recent return to fitness of Jimmy Kebe and Jem Karacan also gave Reading’s boss a reason to be cheerful ahead of the new year – whilst Adrian Mariappa and Mikele Leigertwood both reached the cut-off point for a one game suspension without receiving their fifth yellow cards of the season.
"We've missed Jem Karacan for a lot of the season and we couldn't play a certain way because we didn't have Danny Guthrie either. We were really struggling and Jimmy Kebe was also missing. We've had a real bit of bad luck - Alex McCarthy's long term too.
"But what I like is that the fact that everyone - the 11 players, the subs, the entire squad - was in the dressing room after the game delighted. In the last three years, just look at the results. Teams find it hard to come here and something away - we're not going to give it to them.
"It's good (for Mariappa and Leigertwood to miss cut off point) for them to have good discipline. The centre halves were terrific today and Ledge did a really good job in front of the back four.
"It's important for us - we've got everybody available again. Jimmy Kebe loves this club - you could see that in the way that he plays and performed. We had to take him off because he got a lot of stick from the West Ham players, but I'm delighted for Jimmy and all the boys today. It's been a good day for Reading Football Club."