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Win important for fans

5 January 2013

Brian pleased to be safely in the hat

Royals boss Brian McDermott was delighted to have navigated his way through a difficult FA Cup Third Round clash at Crawley this afternoon.

"We knew this was going to be difficult today and after 14 seconds we were 1-0 down. It was a great strike to be fair," he began his post-match analysis.

"It's very easy to panic when you go 1-0 down so early, but we got ourselves back into the game really well, with goals from Alfie and Noel.

"Then it was a great penalty from Alfie - his finishing is top drawer. The ball might have been running out of play but I think Hunty got clipped.

"And there was a stonewall penalty on Shaun Cummings later in the game which could have hurt him. It was a strange decision that Shaun got booked.

"Noel's finish was good as well for the second - and I was pleased for Garath McCleary who produced some really good wing play and a good cross for that goal just before half-time. He gives us good options.

"Then early in the second half we got that third and although we wanted a fourth to really finish it off we just couldn't quite do that. But this is a good result.

"It wasn't easy. Some of the football Crawley played was really good and the pitch wasn't easy to play on - you have to play a certain way on a pitch like that. 

"But the only thing that matters in the FA Cup is to go through."

McDermott made seven changes to the side that lost at White Hart Lane but the Premier League side bounced back from that early setback in true style and will be in the hat for the Fourth Round tomorrow afternoon.

"We had played three Premier League games in six days - so we changed a few around today and I thought they all did really, really well.

"Ian Harte was captain. I've got so many captains out there, Pearce, Morrison, Hunt, Federici whoever you want really. But I told Hartey he was going to be captain and he said that it was the first time in his life he'd been captain, so that was nice.

"As for the draw, I just want a home draw, that'd be nice. And hopefully we can get ourselves into the next round.

"Last year was a disappointment for us, we went out in the Third Round. We didn't want that to happen again - we wanted to make sure we got through.

"It was important for our fans that we did that. And I must say, our fans were absolutely terrific today, they kept the boys going. Absolutely fantastic."

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