McDermott dauntless at half way stage
At the half-way point in this Barclays Premier League season, manager Brian McDermott is ready to throw out the history books and conquer the challenges that lie ahead.
Sam Allardyce's West Ham United are the visitors to Madejski Stadium tomorrow, and despite having an extra few days preparation due to their Boxing Day postponement, they will come up against a Royals side characteristically gunning for victory.
"We will try to win every game. Next is West Ham and then it's Spurs," Brian said. "We tried to beat Man City, we were close to that, this game is no different.
"West Ham have been a Premier League for many years and they know the league. Our Premier League history is two and a half seasons in 141 years - in comparison West Ham have been around in this league for years.
"Will it help them having not played? No idea. Sometimes you get momentum, that's good for us and our players generally like playing regularly - we're used to that. Sam will have his team ready, he always does."
After two sturdy performances against Manchester City and Swansea, McDermott is delighted with the fight and mettle of his men - and hopes the tenacious spirit shown will go some way to rewarding the loyal supporters.
"The fans have been fantastic to me and were terrific again," he added. "In the last three seasons we've had relative success, at the moment it's tough but they have stuck with myself and the players and I am grateful for that.
"Against Arsenal we had stick in the first half and I understand that, but since then they've seen fight, real fight and spirit. I said to the players, if you give these fans everything, that's all they will ask of you."
With half of the campaign still left to play, Brian believes he is far more educated about top flight football and is now completely relishing the task in front of him.
"I've learned a lot about this League in 19 games, in the Championship we tried to win every single game because we wanted to entertain, but our fans want to see points and results," he explained.
"The players want points but we're all sensible because we don't want to lose. It obvious that you can't give four goals away at home and this is a better base to play from.
"People talk to me about history and positions in the table, points and what have you, but it's irrelevant. With 19 games to go this is definitely doable for us. We enjoy and relish the challenge. We can do this."