Manager relishing Chelsea challenge
Manager Brian McDermott says he's pleased with the improvements his players have made ahead of tonight's challenge of Chelsea at Madejski Stadium.
With three Barclays Premier League wins out of four for the Royals, Brian is relishing the task of the European Champions - who are in excellent form on the road with four consecutive away league successes.
"We're getting there. We're working really hard with the group, we're getting better as a group and we're enjoying the challenge," said Brian. "All we're trying to do is get a result against Chelsea, do our best and we'll add up the points in May and see where we are.
"There's no point dwelling on it [defeat at Chelsea in August] really. We played well on the night and should have got something from the game. Torres' goal was offside but there's no point in harping on about that - it's done and dusted."
McDermott is well aware of the threat Chelsea pose away from home, commanded by a manager that Brian has nothing but respect for.
"I watched the Chelsea game against Brentford and watched the Stoke game when they won 4-0. I look at Chelsea's record under Rafa away from home - and it's phenomenal. It's right up there, so we know what we're up against.
"The first time I came across Rafa was against Liverpool in the FA Cup when I was caretaker. He's a top manager, he did fantastically at Liverpool and in Spain and he's working with his group of players.
"But it's really not my business - the only business I've got is Reading, not Chelsea. It's important that we do our stuff."
Benitez, in turn, has identified the Royals as a side that play with great intensity - and has warned his players that it will be a tough task.
"I think it will be a tough game," the Chelsea boss admitted. "Reading are team that play with intensity, so it will be tough.
"But at the same time, we know that we have to be ready - so we have been working hard in training on every little thing."
Reading FC Player subscribers can watch Brian McDermott's pre-match conference by clicking here, and they can also access Rafa Benitez's thoughts ahead of Wednesday night's game. View the video below for a free snippet of the Spaniard's press conference.
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