Anfield holds no fear! McDermott hopes to make it two wins from two
00:19 GMT, 19 October 2012
Without any victories in their opening six Barclays Premier League games, it would be understandable if Brian McDermott thought a trip to Anfield was the last thing his Reading players needed.
But the Royals manager has every right to feel more confident that might be assumed. On his only previous visit, while he was still caretaker boss in January 2010, his team knocked Liverpool out of the FA Cup on their own patch.
When you consider Liverpool have won just twice at home this calendar year and a victory for the visitors would leapfrog them over the hosts, the signs are actually quite positive.
Tough start: Reading are in the bottom three of the Premier League
‘Played one won one,’ McDermott observed. ‘I remember the game very well. We were 1-0 down and we got a penalty with two minutes to go. Gylfi (Sigurdsson) scored a fantastic penalty. We played really well in extra time and Shane (Long) got the winner.
‘I remember (Yossi) Benayoun having a good chance to make it 2-2 but Feds (Adam Federici) made the save.
‘We just got beat 4-1 by Plymouth away from home when we had to play Liverpool at the Madejski and we drew 1-1. Obviously we were written off in the replay. But we managed to go there and get a result.
Happy days: Gylfi Sigurdsson (left) made it one apiece at Anfield
‘It’s such a fantastic club and the atmosphere in the stadium is fabulous. They’re real football people. I’ve got a lot of time for their supporters.
‘Going anywhere in this league is never going to be easy but it’s a real opportunity. We just want to make sure we take the opportunity.’
The match sees McDermott take on his predecessor at Reading, Brendan Rodgers, who left the club by mutual consent in December 2009 just six months after joining following a string of poor results.
The two spent years working together in the Reading academy before Rodgers left for Chelsea and McDermott is impressed with what he has achieved since. After a tough start at Liverpool, he thinks the Northern Irishman needs patience from the owners.
‘You need time,’ McDermott said. ‘He’s got to set up the way that they’re going to play. His philosophy is his philosophy. The players have got to get used to the way Brendan wants them to play.
‘I was the academy manager and Brendan was with the under-17s. I wouldn’t say I was the boss of him. It’s a fantastic story if you think about it, what he’s done, where he’s got to.
‘It’s a great story for any aspiring young coach to see where he’s ended up. He’s done a lot of work over the years. He’s worked with the young kids here who’ve still got a real affinity with Reading. We’ll have a drink after the game.’
But McDermott is not so keen on the behind-the-scenes documentary about Rodgers and Liverpool currently airing. ‘It wouldn’t be for me,’ he said.
‘I think that was probably something owner-driven rather than anything else. So if that’s what the owner of the club wanted then I would have a view on it. But I’m not sure I’d be very entertaining.’