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McDermott: "We've got to create an identity"

28 December 2015

Royals boss hoping to make 2016 a better year

"It was frustrating at Wolves and it is frustrating today," Royals boss Brian McDermott admitted after his first home defeat in his second stint as Royals boss.

"They've scored a quality goal, it was the first shot they'd had and he's smashed it in the top corner. You can't legislate for the first goal, it's a wonderstrike.

"It's come out of nothing, but then we've had a number of chances and we haven't scored. We're trying to make things happen, we got ourselves back into it and I thought we were going to go on and win it.

"Ola was playing well and pulled his hamstring just before half-time, which was a shame because he was looking a real threat. And Matej wants to do well, score goals, make goals and he's made a goal today and hit the bar himself.

"But then at 1-1 they score another good goal from their point of view, maybe not from ours. We had more opportunities we should perhaps have taken and, as we all know, goals change games, that's what football is all about.

"I can't fault the effort they put in today. The players have given us everything in the three games I've been in charge, we've taken three points from nine, it should have been more, but that's football. Especially football at Championship level, that's how it works.

"Now it's about digging in, getting back up and doing what you have to do. That's what we'll do now, dig in. And we've got to keep going until it turns."

The Royals' aim now is to start 2016 with a win at home to Bristol City and put 2015 to bed by starting afresh come the start of January.

"2015 hasn't been great for Reading. We want 2016 to be a great year for us. And that's what we're looking forward to.

"We've got to create a real identity at Reading Football Club, a spirit, a togetherness. Brentford have got that, they've been working with that group for quite some time now.

"Let's produce a spirit, let's get everyone working their socks off and pulling in the same direction and let's see where we end up.

"I was here for 13 years and during that time we all saw Reading teams with massive identity. Under Alan Pardew, Steve Coppell, myself, I would say the team had an identity.

"That means a lot of things, a mentality where you're never beaten. This team can pass it, they're fluid, but we also have to hurt teams, we have to get in behind, we have to do more in the final third, we have to be difficult to play against, difficult to beat.

"It's all about nous and learning how to win games, and that's what we're going to do in the next four or five months. So we go into the new year, trying to start 2016 with a win."

Now, the Royals face another quick turn around before another home fixture against Bristol City - but McDermott is relishing the opportunity not only to battle for three more points at the weekend, but to be able to work with this squad of players on the training pitch and really start to build that 'identity' he is aiming to create.
"I've been here for three games now and we've had game after game, with only a couple of sessions to work on the team play. So I'm looking forward to working with the team on the training ground.

"For now though they've got to recover as we've got another game in short space of time, they've got to come back fresh and be ready again for the next game against Bristol City.

"We haven't had too many opportunities to work on things on the training pitch and that's going to be important. So we'll keep going, keep doing what we're doing and things will change.

"Hopefully we can get another big crowd in for Saturday against Bristiol City. They really got behind us today; I said to the players, if you give them your all, give them something to cheer, they'll get behind you, they've always done that at the Madejski."

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