McDermott speaks to Sky Sports
Brian’s transfer update
Royals boss Brian McDermott spoke to Sky Sports News’ Fraser Robertson about transfers, Ian Harte, Alex Pearce and more, and we’ve got the very latest from the manager here.
FR: Brian, for those fans who have read a report or two earlier this week that Reading are going to go out and sign at least ten players in January all coming from the owner - can you clarify for them what the situation is and how you feel about it?
BMc: It's a long story - and a story that was not true. Basically, someone in the paper said we were going to sign ten players. First and foremost, I would never sign ten players in January. We wouldn't even have the budget to suggest that. The owner actually said that we'd been 'looking at ten different players'.
Actually, we've been looking at hundreds of players - because that's what we do. Scouts go out and we watch players. January is January. We'll see what we've got budget-wise and if we can do anything. If anyone comes in in January, they've got to be in a position where they can go straight in and hit the ground running.
You look at ten players, and you might only sign one. You look at a hundred players and you might only sign one. That's how it works - I've done the job as a chief scout so I know about the job. I used to watch thousands of players and sometimes you don't get any. But eventually you find someone that you think can make a difference and you try and make that signing.
FR: How does the dynamic work between you, the owner and Nick Hammond when you look at players?
BMc: The owner and Nick Hammond will discuss it as well as Steve Head our head of recruitment and Steve Shorey our chief scout. They'll come up with something, Anton might come up with a player that he's seen. Eventually it comes back to me and we have a discussion.
If we want to do it, then we do it. No player has come here that I haven't wanted. The owner wouldn't want it that way either. He's a bright guy and we all work well with him. It's in all of our interests that the club is successful.
What I don't want is any mixed messages coming out. I know what my budget was in the summer, and it was spent. I'm waiting to see what my budget will be in January. There isn't a bundle of money here to be spent in January and it's important that our fans know that.
FR: Is a creative 'number ten' something that you might be thinking about? Would you have to change your system and formation, or are you happy with your solid system?
B Mc: We had Gylfi Sigurdsson in a 'number ten' and Shane Long playing up front a couple of years ago. If something came up that was interest of us, and he was a 'number ten', and we made that decision then he could come in and part of the squad.
We have certain ways of playing. At the moment, we play 4-4-2 which works for us. January's a long way off and all we have to do now is concentrate solely on our next game. Nothing else matters.
FR: It's that time in the season when Championship managers will look at the squads in the Premier League and see those who are not starting and not on the bench. Last week, Alex Pearce and Harte couldn't even make the 18. Would players like that be allowed to go on loan?
B Mc: It wouldn't benefit me to let Ian Harte or Alex Pearce go. We've had a couple of clubs already come in ringing up about Harte. I had a good conversation with Ian and he wants to be here. He loves it here and wants to fight for his place and get back in the team.
Things change very quickly in football - Sean Morrison's a great case of that. He wasn't playing but then I chose him for the Capital One Cup and then he played two Barclays Premier League games.
Everyone is part of the group. We had 20 odd players involved last season and every one of them picked up a Championship medal. Everyone was happy and that's what a group mentality is all about. If they're not in the team, they support the team. You have to come into work, train as if it's your last day and if you're not in the team, support the team.
FR: You've had a recent conversation with Alex Pearce - he has great competition at centre back. Like at Arsenal, is it difficult to managers to play players when they have contract issues hanging over them?
B Mc: If I want to select Alex, I'll select him - I told him that. He could be in the team in two week's time, you just don't know. We want to try and get his contract sotrted out. The club are trying to speak to his agent and vice versa. They have to find a ground that is acceptable to everybody. I'm hopeful that it will be sorted before January - it needs to be.