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Brian: "That's how you play against ten men!"

19 January 2016

McDermott delighted to get through to the Fourth Round

"That's how you play against ten men," Royals boss Brian McDermott began his post-match analysis after seeing his side fire five past a talented Huddersfield side at Madejski Stadium in the FA Cup this evening.

"We had to be patient, but we passsed it well, made things happen, we could have scored more than five to be honest.

"You look back at the first 20 minutes, it wasn't good, we weren't at it," he continued, speaking about a slow start to the replay which allowed Huddersfield to take a two-goal lead early op.

"We have to better than that first 20 minutes, we know that. And they're a good team, we knew that from the first game at their place. They played well, but their player was rightly sent off for fouling Matej Vydra after a great bit of skill from Matej.

"And I'd have to agree that the sending off was a big moment...and then Lucas put the ball down and put it in the top corner, a terrific free kick which got us on our way straight after the red card.

"The fans were terrific, they stayed patient - you can get frustrated when you're 2-0 down at home, and we don't want to be going behind, home or away. We want to make sure we're more reslient than that. And we came through it tonight and got through to the next round."

Vydra not only played a pivotal role in reducing the Terriers to ten men and earning the free-kick for the first goal, he also began the counter attack which set up an equaliser - the first of three for the Czech striker come the final whistle.

"Matej got himself a hat-trick and I was delighted for him. Him winning that free-kick was the turning point and Lucas putting the free kick away - we see him do that in training all the time, a terrific free kick.

"He started to find space, Vyds was finding space. They sat in, did what they had to do. And I've been involved in a lot of games when a team has been down to ten men and we've struggled the break them down. This team didn't. This team can play against 10 men, pass it around, get the spare man in.

"I just told them at half time that we needed to keep the ball, pass the ball, use the spare man and opportunities would arise. And some of our football was terrific in the second half. It's a good night for us and I'm re'ally pleased we've gone through."

And on his hat-trick hero? "Matej works his socks off, he's never hidden, he's always working hard. If he misses chances, I just said, 'Don't worry about it. You're a proven scorer. Play with a smile on your face, and if you miss chances, who cares? It's not an issue. Just keep doing what you're doing. You're working your socks off, you've never hidden, you try every game to the utmost.

"He's a good guy and I speak to him regularly. I don't need to speak up for him. His perfiormances speak for themselves. He really wants to do well and tonight he has. He's got the matchball and I'm absolutely delighted for him tonight."

The icing on the cake was a fifth in the form of an injury time strike of real elegance from substitute Alex Fernandez, of whom McDermott also had high praise. "Alex coming on, he played well, kept the ball really well, calmed us down, and then scoring a great goal. He's a top professional, a great guy and so I was delighted for him as well.

"Alex is one of the nicest people I have ever met in my life. He trains right, he lives his life right, and he joins in. He's been very much a part of what we're trying to do here, everyone together, and I can't speak highly enough of him."

Now back to the league this weekend for an important home fixture against Sheffield Wednesday. "I've just said to the players that we've got to start enjoying our football. It''s a big game for us again on Saturday, we go back to the league and try to get the points against a Sheffield Wednesday side on a very good run at the moment. I'm looking forward to it."



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