Manager looks ahead to stadium:mk tripAhead of our first ever competitive visit to stadium:mk this weekend, Reading manager Brian McDermott is confident that his team can show their battle and ability against MK Dons.
Karl Robinson’s men have secured some notable results on their own patch this season – such as wins against Sheffield Wednesday and Cardiff last month – but Burnley delivered a 5-0 demolition when they visited on Tuesday.
So the Royals boss is aware that the Dons will be aiming for a backlash after that result, and wants his players to keep up the performance level that saw Reading earn an impressive point in Derby.
“You start preparing when you get back on the coach after the game against Derby – so you’re looking at the team, you watch the Derby game back, and you do your work on MK Dons and go from there,” said McDermott.
“I’ve already seen MK Dons live – we’ll do our work on them tomorrow. Today is a second day of recovery and any knocks and bruises will have chance to recover, and those guys will join up with us tomorrow.
“You’ve got to be aware that they’ll be wounded after the other night. They’ve got a really good manager who has been there a long time; it’s great to see a club with a young manager doing well, as far as bringing players through and working with good young players and playing attractive football and being successful. Karl has done that at Milton Keynes Dons, and I’ve got an awful lot of time for him.
“You get bad results – that’s football. He’ll come back from that, and look to fight in the next game – and we are the next game. We have to make sure that we fight, that we’re ready and that we get the job done to the best of our ability and make sure that we perform for our fans.”
Since McDermott arrived, Reading have secured two wins, two defeats and two draws from the six fixtures. From a number of those games, the results arguably flattered the opposition.
“I’m always confident in the players – that’s important,” he continued. “We’re getting the basics of football right and doing the things we have to do. With the ability we’ve got and the pace and power in the team, I’m very confident in the group that we’ve got.
“Results can dictate a lot of things – we’re in a results business, so we want to make sure we get results. But you can’t get defined by a defeat, and you can’t get defined by a victory.
“One-offs are one-offs – you have to try to find a way of playing which suits the players, and then you have to find the momentum that we need.”
With Paul McShane still absent, it is likely that Oliver Norwood will retain the armband for the short journey to Milton Keynes.
He was first given the captaincy for the visit to his former side Huddersfield last weekend in the FA Cup, and his manager assessed the qualities that he has displayed.
“Ollie is a thinker – he wants to think about the game, and he loves the game,” Brian said. “We’ve got a number of captains in that team and Ollie’s got the armband – you look at the experienced players we’ve got there.
“It’s good experience for Ollie as a younger player to have that responsibility, and he thrives on that as well.”