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Brian: Why it was important

29 December 2012

McDermott delighted after 1-0

Brian McDermott revealed after our 1-0 win against West Ham that he came into the match secretly knowing it was very important to help shape the course of our season.

McDermott's men fought for their lives to see off the Hammers - it was truly a battle at Madejski Stadium and a very physical encounter with both sides desperate to win.

A very good early finish from Pavel Pogrebnyak earned victory, and with three points in the bag Brian was able to talk about the importance of this fixture.

He said, "I thought it was a really important game today. I wouldn't have said that to anyone before the game but my gut feel was that it was very important to get a result. We've got that.

"I might never look it but I'm very pleased! We had to be very resilient today, as we have done in the last three games. We want to attack and go for games but we've realised what we need to do to get results in this league.

"There were a lot of balls into the box, the back four had to deal with a lot of that but we managed the game well, especially late on. We had to go to 4-4-2 as it kept coming back at us, with Noel on the pitch we won some headers and kept the ball better.

"I didn't feel they had too many opportunities, of course the header from Vaz Te but just before then Jem had hit the bar so it could have been 2-0. Every point is precious and it's a good win. Our fans will go home happy and that's very pleasing for us."

The last three games have seen the Royals play with a different formation and a different mindset, and Brian's decisions are very much paying dividends with only one contentious goal conceded in 270 minutes and four points from two games. He said, "We've had experience in the first 17 games and we've learned from those. We want to do everything in our power for our fans to get the results they want. They don't want to see 4-3s with us losing, 5-2s and us losing, 7-5s and us losing. They want to see their team win, because that's what it's all about. We know we're in the results business.

"But we will play two up front in this division again, no problem with that. You have to learn what is required and after a run of defeats we did that. In adversity you find out about yourself."

It was a brusing encounter, and Kevin Nolan avoided a second booking when coming down on Hal Robson-Kanu's foot, while Carlton Cole incurred the wrath of the east stand after a tussle with Chris Gunter. Brian said, "First couple of tackles on Jimmy were feisty. It was a battle and to come through it gives you a lot of confidence. Nolan was maybe fortunate to stay on the pitch, I thilnk the referee was just about to get his card out but realised he had already booked him - maybe he needed to look at Carlton Cole too. But it's up to the referee. The game was always on the edge, two teams desperately trying to win for their fans and I've got no problem with that."

Lastly, Brian was pleased to help keep our home ground as difficult to play at for away clubs as possible, saying, "Madejski Stadium is very difficult for teams to come and play, we've got a good record here. Fine margins have gone against us this season - but today it didn't."

See Brian's full video verdict on Reading FC Player now, as well as reaction from Noel Hunt and much more besides.

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