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Brian: “What an atmosphere!”

20 February 2016

Manager reflects on a terrific win to make the quarters

“What an atmosphere!” beamed Brian McDermott after a terrific 3-1 win against West Bromwich Albion in the fifth round of the FA Cup, sealing a place in the quarter-final.  “What an atmosphere in the ground today.  The atmosphere was absolutely top-drawer, and when we got back to 1-1, the fans got us over line again. 

“It was an absolute pleasure to be stood on the line with the fans and the players and to see the camaraderie we saw today.”

It is just the sixth time in our history that we have made the last eight of the famous old competition – McDermott has taken us there on three of those occasions.

“We’re really pleased,” he continued.  “I thought we deserved to win the game.  We went 1-0 behind against a Premier League side, and especially a side like West Brom, that could have been a real problem for us.

“But we scored quite soon after to make it 1-1, and the second goal was important obviously.  Then the last goal gave us the chance to relax a little bit with a minute to go.

“If you don’t show grit and determination and good mental aptitude, then you’re going to have a problem in any game of football.  We showed all of those qualities – and some quality as well.

“Our delivery from set-plays was excellent – Ollie Norwood put two great balls into the box, and if you put balls into the right areas, we’ve got guys who will score goals.

“There were a lot of players that weren’t involved or were substitutes today – it’s everyone together, it really is.  That is what competition for places is all about, and I feel we’ve got really competition now.  Everyone is chomping at the bit to play.”

Now the supporters, players and staff alike can anticipate the quarter-final draw, which takes place at Stamford Bridge on Sunday evening.  But before the quarter-final tie takes place on the weekend of Friday 11th – Monday 14th March, Reading will first have league outings to content with – starting with a midweek home match against the Millers this Tuesday!

“I’ve got my mind on Tuesday now against Rotherham,” he continued.  “It’s important that we sustain what we’re trying to do.  We’re trying to build something – I keep talking about it, but we’re trying to take us to where we need to get to, and slowly we’re getting there.

“But it’s always nice to see the draw and it gives the fans something to look forward to.  We want to make something of this season – that’s really important.  Seasons come and go and every season is very important, so we want to make the best we can of this season and see where it takes us.”

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