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McDermott: "The fans stuck by us"

2 January 2016

Boss praises part played by our fans in edging a late, late win

Royals boss Brian McDermott praised his players and our supporters for sticking to the task in hand until the final throes of a real scrap against Bristol City this afternoon.

"The fans stuck by us, they really did," he said after Nick Blackman's injury time winner had earned the Royals a vital victory. "The fans kept us going, they stayed with the team.

"I don’t know how many late wins I’ve had during my time here at Reading, but it was great to get another one today. And that was a tough, tough game...a toss of a coin game. So it was so important that the supporters kept urging the players forward til the end.

"The Championship is about picking up points, accumulating points where you can, and it doesn’t matter when you score, you’ve just got to keep going.

"We went to Wolves, played really, really well and got nothing. We had Brentfotrd here and I thought we deserved a point – and the win today was a real scrap.

"But this division is about scrapping and we’re trying to win the game from the bench, making offensive changes to try to win it late on when at 0-0 it can go either way – and I always had the belief that if we could get it in the right area we were going to score. Thankfully, it happened.

"We’re trying to win that game at 0-0 - and that’s really important. Confidence is a strange thing and that win gives us that extra little bit of confidence. It’s a big win."

McDermott had praise for a number of his players after the win, but again chose to focus on the contribution of the group rather than single out individuals too much.

"Vydra makes a great tackle in the build up, it's a great pass by Garath McCleary and a great finish from Nick Blackman. Ali’s gone in goal and kept a clean sheet, Hal Robson-Kanu has come on and made an impact, Coops was phenomenal at the back and it was great to get Anton back so quickly after Hull.

"But I’m proud of everyone in the dressing room, the group that we’ve got. And it is about the group, because the whole group has to be going in the same direction.

"There are a lot of players in that dressing room who have contributed to that win, and that’s what we’re trying to develop here. That was about the whole group and I’m delighted with the result."

The Royals now look forward to beginning an FA Cup campaign at Huddersfield next weekend - a replica of the Third Round tie which sparked a magnificent cup run to the semi-finals last season.

"We’re going to try and win. Last week I was really miserable because we lost, so I want to try and win," McDermott said when asked about his plans for the start of the cup competition next Saturday.

"Last year our fans saw us go on a fantastic run to the semi-finals, the team got to Wembley and could have got to the final. So we’ll pick a team who we think can win at Huddersfield.

"They’ve won today too, so it’ going to be another tough game. And it’s about the FA Cup now. We’ll try and go as far as we possibly can and I’m looking forward to that game."

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