Manager looks to QPR
Royals boss Brian McDermott held his regular pre-match press conference on Friday morning, and spoken openly and eloquently as always on a wide range of topics.
Here at the official website we'll bring you his thoughts today, Saturday and Sunday as he talks about travelling to QPR, the Arsenal game, our squad, meeting up with owner Anton Zingarevich and much more besides.
He revealed that he had the opportunity to catch up with the owner this week, saying, "I went out with Anton on Wednesday night in a pub in London and so many people came up to us to talk about the game, they were saying it's the best game they've ever seen. It was good, he's been really, really supportive, he came down to the office straight after the game. The Chairman phoned me as well, saying how proud he was of the way we conducted ourselves and everything about it.
"Everyone talked about football after the game, we didn't talk about diving or anything else, everything that's good about football in this country. It's not a massive consolation because we were on the wrong end of it – but it was a great game. What's done is done and we’re looking forward to Sunday.
"He and I had a chat about the game and made a pact between the two of us that we'd stop talking about that game at 12 o'clock! After midnight, we didn't speak about it. He said the spirit in the side was fantastic and some of the football we played early on was as good as you've seen at the Madejski for many years.
"These things happen, and they just make you stronger. It is a consolation to take part in a game like that against a side like Arsenal. When you get to 5-5 you expect to go to penalties but the consolation is that the game will never be forgotten.
"A couple of years ago we were losing goals late in games and we had to address that. At times last season, we couldn't score in the first half so we had to address that. We lost a massive game in the play-off final and we had to address that. That's what you have to do, and move on. We play on Sunday so we have the opportunity to go out and play straight away. You can always bounce back during the season because you have that next opportunity – it's a big local game for us and I'm sure our fans will get behind the players.
"Every time we go into a game we try and get result – so we'll put on a performance and try and do that. The season is 30-odd games long – there could be many defining moments and I’m not convinced that this will define our season. I ask my players for spirit, quality, honest – and I get that day in day out.
"We were 4-0 up against the Arsenal and against Fulham we had spells where we were really really good. We need to sustain that for 90 minutes, and once we do that, the results will come. We've got leaders in the team, leaders around the staff and we just get on with it. A lot of things happened against us on the night, like they have done this season but that will change – I’m absolutely convinced. We’ll get a break."