Manager previews John Smith’s Stadium visitThe FA Cup third round is one of the most keenly anticipated weekends on the football calendar – not just for the fans, but for the players and management alike.
Our draw, like last year, takes us to Huddersfield – the Terriers are the first hurdle in what we hope will be another adventure in the famous old competition. Boss Brian McDermott, who helped the Royals to the quarter-finals on two occasions during his first spell at the club, can’t wait for the competition to come around once again.
“Reading had a great run last year in getting to the semi-final – and were actually unfortunate not to knock Arsenal out from what I can gather,” he said. “But we had a couple of really good cup runs and some great games, so I’m really looking forward to it.
“I’ve had good memories of the FA Cup – we were unfortunate not to get to the semi-final when we were 2-0 up against Aston Villa a few years ago, and playing really well. We lost the game unfortunately.
“It’s going to be a tough game – Huddersfield are a tough side. They’ve got a new manager there who is making his imprint on the team, so it’s going to be an interesting game.”
Indeed, we haven’t drawn a lower-league minnow or one of the Premier League’s giants – it’s a long trip to another Championship club, who gave us a tough evening at Madejski Stadium earlier this season.
The Royals and the Terriers shared the spoils with a 2-2 draw back in November – but only one team can secure passage to the fourth round.
“They are a good side and knock the ball around – they have got guys who can score and a philosophy of how they play,” McDermott continued. “We know what we’re coming up against; we’ve done our homework and we’re looking forward to it.
“I’ve watched Huddersfield play twice. I saw them play at Brentford when they got beat, and I saw their last game. We’ve done our work and we know what they’re about.
“We have to play the game; we won’t worry about the draw on Monday until it comes. We’re doing our work on the training pitch and we’ll be prepared.”