Tag Archives: mcdermott

Brian McDermott seals deal to be new Leeds United manager

Isn't Brian McDermott already the coach of Leeds Ex-Reading boss set to take charge in city where his namesake runs Rhinos…

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World Club Challenge 2012

Brian McDermott (II)

Age: 52

Born: Slough, Berkshire

Club: Expected to be named Leeds United boss

Playing career: Clubs include Arsenal, Fulham, Cardiff and spells in Sweden and China

Managerial honours: Championship 2012, Championship play-off finalist 2011

Manchester United 1 Reading 0 – Match report

Manchester United 1 Reading 0: Rooney grabs winner against managerless Royals

PUBLISHED:

19:21 GMT, 16 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:37 GMT, 16 March 2013

Wayne Rooney's 16th goal of the season was enough to propel Manchester United 15 points clear with just nine games remaining in the Barclays Premier League title race.

Rooney's deflected first-half effort saw off a dogged Reading outfit, who worked hard but lacked the class to fashion an equaliser.

The Royals now look certainties for relegation, sliding seven points adrift of safety with one game fewer than United to save themselves, their decision to axe Brian McDermott akin to shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic.

Jumping for joy: Wayne Rooney celebrates after scoring for Manchester United against Reading

Jumping for joy: Wayne Rooney celebrates after scoring for Manchester United against Reading

MATCH FACTS

Man Utd: De Gea, Smalling, Ferdinand, Vidic, Buttner, Welbeck, Giggs, Anderson (Kagawa 85), Young (Carrick 74), Rooney, van Persie.

Subs Not Used: Lindegaard, Evans, Valencia, Hernandez, Powell.

Goals: Rooney 21.

Reading: Taylor, Kelly (Morrison 88), Pearce, Mariappa, Shorey, Karacan, Leigertwood, McAnuff, Robson-Kanu (Le Fondre 70), McCleary, Hunt (Blackman 70).

Subs Not Used: McCarthy, Gunter, Harte, Akpan.

Booked: Hunt, Kelly.

Att: 75,605

Ref: Lee Mason (Lancashire).

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Thirteen points will do it for Sir Alex Ferguson's men to clinch a record 20th championship – and given one of their remaining games is against nearest challengers Manchester City, they might not even need that.

Yet taking maximum advantage of City's defeat at 10-man Everton earlier in the day was not the biggest talking point.

For that revolved around Rio Ferdinand, who rolled back the years to turn in another marvellous performance, which included claiming the assist for Rooney's winner.

The will he-won't he debate over Ferdinand's international return may not be answered for certain until Monday night, when Hodgson's squad are due to report at St George's Park.

However, there can be no doubt why Hodgson has been willing to go back on all those previous indications that he had 'moved on' from the 34-year-old.

Quite apart from the vast experience that would make Ferdinand such an unflappable presence in that vital World Cup qualifier in Montenegro on March 26, the former West Ham man also possesses an assurity in possession that few Premier League defenders of any nationality, let alone English, can match.

They all count: Rooney's shot took a deflection off Reading defender Alex Pearce before nestling in the net

They all count: Rooney's shot took a deflection off Reading defender Alex Pearce before nestling in the net

He created United's first chance for a
start with an elegant crossfield pass to Ashley Young, which the winger
controlled on the edge of the area before drilling a cross-shot just
beyond Robin van Persie, and more importantly, the far post.

Ferdinand's next incursion was the crucial one.

Nipping in to intercept Garath McCleary's poor pass, Ferdinand advanced into the open space and nipped round a static Mikele Leigertwood before feeding Rooney just to his left.

No joy: Robin van Persie tries his luck with a free kick but United failed to build on their slim advantage

No joy: Robin van Persie tries his luck with a free kick but United failed to build on their slim advantage

The striker took aim and once his
shot flicked off Alex Pearce, former Manchester City goalkeeper Stuart
Taylor had no chance of keeping it out.

Ferdinand's part was acknowledged by
the Stretford End though, along with a non-too-subtle hint that he
should reject the chance to extend his 81-cap international career.

Either side of Rooney's goal, Danny Welbeck went close on a couple of occasions and Robin van Persie tried his luck from 20 yards.

Battle: Rio Ferdinand vies for the ball with Noel Hunt as United edge to victory at Old Trafford

Battle: Rio Ferdinand vies for the ball with Noel Hunt as United edge to victory at Old Trafford

These are not the most productive of times for the Dutchman though, who has now scored once in his last 10 games.

After being thrust into the spotlight
following McDermott's controversial dismissal earlier in the week,
Eamonn Dolan became the 15th manager, including caretakers, to face the
Red Devils in their first Premier League game in charge.

Most have lost. And whilst Dolan was
not quite accepting of his fate, he seemed to have settled on a policy
of damage limitation despite Reading's position becoming even more
perilous due to earlier triumphs for Southampton and Aston Villa.

My ball: Nemanja Vidic and Noel Hunt battle during United's victory which takes them 15 points clear

My ball: Nemanja Vidic and Noel Hunt battle during United's victory which takes them 15 points clear

Only once did the visitors truly
threaten before the break, when Hal Robson-Kanu let fly with a shot
David de Gea would not have reached if it had been on target.

They should have had a chance to
equalise immediately after it though when Nemanja Vidic shoved Adrian
Mariappa over inside the box. Reading appealed for what TV replays
showed to be a clear foul but referee Lee Mason was unmoved.

United failed to profit from their good fortune, with Welbeck and Young going close either side of a wild effort from Van Persie that flew out from a throw-in.

Blow: Ashley Young's evening was cut short by injury but United held on to beat Reading at Old Trafford

Blow: Ashley Young's evening was cut short by injury but United held on to beat Reading at Old Trafford

Van Persie's loss of form seems to
have crept up unnoticed. His free-scoring ways earlier in the season are
a mere memory now, with Taylor repelling a well-struck free-kick to
keep the former Arsenal man out.

Whilst Rooney did fire over from long-range, the hosts gave Reading enough hope to believe an equaliser was possible.

It did not come though. And as certain as it appears United will end the season champions, Reading looked destined the finish it in the Championship.

In charge: Careataker manager Eamonn Dolan watched his Reading side suffer a narrow defeat

In charge: Careataker manager Eamonn Dolan watched his Reading side suffer a narrow defeat

Brian McDermott sacked by Reading – players informed by text message – Roberto Di Matteo emerges as favourite

Reading callously sack McDermott…and send the players a group text message to let them know with Di Matteo emerging as the firm favourite to replace him

By
Sami Mokbel and Sam Cunningham

PUBLISHED:

22:47 GMT, 11 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

23:57 GMT, 11 March 2013

Reading's shocked players learned boss Brian McDermott had been sacked yesterday when they all received a round-robin text message from the club.

A core group of senior players were said to be baffled and angered by the treatment of the manager who led them into the Premier League just 10 months ago, as last night former Swindon manager Paolo Di Canio emerged as an early contender to replace McDermott.

Former Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has emerged as the leading candidate for the vacant position with large stakes placed on the Italian returning to English football at the Madejski Stadium.

*Scroll down to watch highlights of McDermott's final match in charge

Sacked: McDermott guided Reading to the npower Championship title last season

Sacked: McDermott guided Reading to the npower Championship title last season

The bottom six of the Premier League

The bottom six of the Premier League

Striker Jason Roberts said: ‘He’s a
football man and a good man and I just think at this moment in time we
take stock of what he has achieved and place on record our thanks.’

McDermott, 51, had been at the club
for nearly 13 years, first as Under 19 and reserve manager, then chief
scout before taking charge of the first team, and sent texts to friends
saying he was ‘devastated’ by the decision.

The Royals’ billionaire owner,
Russian Anton Zingarevich, took the decision after Saturday’s 2-1 home
defeat by Aston Villa, which left the club off the foot of the table on
goal difference.

Leading contender: Former Swindon manager Paolo Di Canio was spotted at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday and is the bookies favourite for the job

Leading contender: Former Swindon manager Paolo Di Canio was spotted at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday and is the bookies favourite for the job

Ruthless: Zingarevich (left) showed no quarter in sacking McDermott

Ruthless: Zingarevich (left) showed no quarter in sacking McDermott

The sacking was confirmed by a club
statement put out just minutes after the players all received the text —
which also ordered them not to speak to the media and said any comments
on Twitter should be pre-approved by club officials.

That didn’t stop Roberts talking,
while Noel Hunt tweeted: ‘Want to say thanks to Brian for everything he
did for me especially. He’s been a great manager, man and friend to me
and will be missed!’

Famous night: Shane Long scores for Reading against Liverpool at Anfield in 2010

Famous night: Shane Long scores for Reading against Liverpool at Anfield in 2010

Taking the applause: Shane Long salutes the Reading fans after the win

Taking the applause: Shane Long salutes the Reading fans after the win

Di Canio was installed as the
bookies’ favourite for the job after he was spotted at the Madejski
watching Saturday’s game (above) but Di Matteo could be offered the job tomorrow.

Former Russia boss Dick Advocaat,
currently in charge of PSV in Holland, is also believed to be on the
wishlist as Zingarevich aims to name a replacement before Saturday’s
trip to Manchester United.

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Brian McDermott sacked by Reading

McDermott SACKED by Reading with strugglers four points adrift of Premier League safety

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

17:32 GMT, 11 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:50 GMT, 11 March 2013

Brian McDermott has been sacked as Reading fight to avoid relegation from the Barclays Premier League.

The Royals suffered a demoralising 2-1 home defeat against drop rivals Aston Villa on Saturday to push them deeper into trouble.

And McDermott has paid the price as they bid to avoid an immediate return to the Championship.

Roberto Di Matteo and Paolo Di Canio are among the early frontrunners to take the post.

*Scroll down to watch highlights of McDermott's final match in charge

Sacked: McDermott guided Reading to the npower Championship title last season

Sacked: McDermott guided Reading to the npower Championship title last season

The bottom six of the Premier League

The bottom six of the Premier League

A statement from Reading read: 'Reading Football Club has announced today the departure of Manager Brian McDermott.

'Owner Anton Zingarevich wishes to place on record his thanks to Brian who had achieved great success with the club since taking over as Manager in December 2009.

'Brian gained promotion to the Barclays Premier League last year for only the second time in the club’s history thanks to a remarkable run at the end of last season. However, in our current situation, owner Anton Zingarevich felt that a change was necessary.

Struggling: Reading have lost five games in a row in all competitions

Struggling: Reading have lost five games in a row in all competitions

Ruthless: Zingarevich (left) showed no quarter in sacking McDermott

Ruthless: Zingarevich (left) showed no quarter in sacking McDermott

'The search for a successor will start immediately and it is hoped that a new Manager will be in place as soon as possible to lead the fight against potential relegation.'

Reading are four points from safety with nine matches remaining to secure their top-flight status.

McDermott took Reading up last season as champions but they have struggled to make an impact in the Premier League.

Russian owner Anton Zingarevich has
now acted to save their season – with the new manager set to start with
an away match against title favourites Manchester United on Saturday.

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Zak Hardaker out of World Club Challenge with injury

Leeds face challenge after injury rules full back Hardaker out of Melbourne clash

By
Ian Laybourn, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

21:08 GMT, 18 February 2013

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UPDATED:

21:08 GMT, 18 February 2013

Leeds will have to find a new full-back for Friday's World Club Challenge against Melbourne Storm after ruling out England international Zak Hardaker with a broken thumb.

The 21-year-old is expected to be sidelined for a month with the injury he sustained in last Friday's 42-14 Super League win over Salford.

Rhinos coach Brian McDermott also confirmed at a press conference at Headingley that prop Ryan Bailey will be out after undergoing minor knee surgery, but that second rower Brett Delaney and prop Jamie Peacock will return after missing the Salford game through injury.

Crocked: Hardaker (centre) has a broken thumb

Crocked: Hardaker (centre) has a broken thumb

Centre Kallum Watkins, who switched to full-back against the City Reds, and Australian recruit Joe Vickery are among the list of possible alternatives for the full-back role.

Vickery, 23, who was born in Exeter but raised in Australia, earned a 12-month contract with the champions after impressing in pre-season trials but damaged ankle ligaments on his debut in the opening game.

'We've a few options,' McDermott said. 'Kallum Watkins is one of them and Joe Vickery is in the mix after making a remarkable recovery.'

Gylfi Sigurdsson bid failed – Reading boss Brian McDermott

McDermott reveals failed deadline day move for Spurs midfielder Sigurdsson

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

12:38 GMT, 1 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:00 GMT, 1 February 2013


Old boy: Gylfi Sigurdsson was a former Royals star

Old boy: Gylfi Sigurdsson was a former Royals star

Reading manager Brian McDermott failed in an attempt to sign Tottenham midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson on transfer deadline day.

The Iceland international started his professional career with the Royals before moving to Hoffenheim in 2010 after impressing at the Madejski Stadium.

His stock continued to rise and after an impressive loan spell with Swansea last season, Tottenham signed him on a permanent deal in the summer but McDermott did his best to get him back in a blue and white shirt before the transfer deadline passed last night.

'We tried to bring him back. We had spoken to Spurs and we made three offers,' said McDermott, giving away that it was in fact Sigurdsson and not Blackpool's Tom Ince that his club were planning on paying a club-record fee for.

'I thought at one stage we had a real chance of doing a deal, but unfortunately, we couldn't manage to do it.

'Gylfi is a Tottenham player, but we've known him since he was 12-13 years old and it would have been great to bring him back.'

Tottenham boss Andrew Villas-Boas said Sigurdsson was happy to stay and fight for his place at White Hart Lane.

He said: 'Yeah obviously he’s a player that means a lot to Reading, from their academy. He’s a player that Brian appreciates and probably could have been a big boost for them. But he’s a player that we rate very highly, we brought him here after his amazing contribution for Swansea last year and he’s a player that we have high expectations for.

'Probably this season at the moment is not going to the level that he wants, but obviously the step is much more difficult than it was at Swansea last year. But he's a player that we believe a lot in, an d in his future here. We couldn’t allow him to leave.’

‘Players are happy when they play more but without disrespecting Reading, I think the ambitions for Tottenham are higher and I think the player appreciates that he has to overcome this tough environment where he lives – the competition that he faces to be in the team. And I think that’s what makes a player evolve in any circumstance.'

McDermott revealed on Tuesday that he
had lodged a bid for Ince, one of the most sought-after players in the
country, while he also signed Sheffield United striker Nick Blackman.

Super League coaches Brian McDermott and Richard Agar give controversial proposed rule changes thumbs up

Super League coaches give thumbs up to controversial proposed rule changes

|

UPDATED:

16:40 GMT, 27 December 2012

Super League coaches Brian McDermott and Richard Agar have given their 'thumbs up' to the experimental rule changes trialled on Boxing Day, although the Rugby Football League have been criticised over their introduction.

The changes were formulated by the RFL's laws committee and put into practice during the Leeds-Wakefield festive challenge at Headingley, as well as the Batley-Dewsbury derby.

The option for teams to reduce the numbers in a scrum was largely ignored at Headingley, where one man was sent off and four others were sin-binned, and there was no instance of the ball being kicked dead from before halfway, which would have resulted in a 40-metre restart.

Controversial: The proposed changes were trialled during Leeds Rhinos and Wakefield Wildcats on Boxing Day

Controversial: The proposed changes were trialled during Leeds Rhinos and Wakefield Wildcats on Boxing Day

PROPOSED CHANGES:
Teams with scrum feed can leave the loose forward out of the pack to create an extra man.
Tackle count does not reset with a charge-down. If the ball is kicked dead from a team's own half the opposition receive a 40-metre tap.

However, there was a clear example at Leeds of the proposal to continue the tackle count in the event of a charge-down and Wakefield scored one of their tries after being given the advantage to play on following a handling error by their opponents.

Wildcats boss Agar was full of praise for Danny Cowling's speculative kick, following a loss of possession by Leeds on halfway, which set up a score for full-back Richard Mathers.

'It's a free shot and a terrific example of how it's going to work,' Agar said.

'It's a rule I feel should be a positive one.

'It could get messy sometimes with play coming back 50 or 60 metres and slowing the game up but in terms of trying things and producing more attacking rugby we should give it a go.

'Rugby league has always been a sport that is not afraid to put its neck on the line and be a bit innovative and I'm all for that.'

Leeds boss McDermott said: 'I like the new rules. The punishment for a charge-down if it doesn't come off has always been heavily weighted towards the team with the ball.

'The added man from the scrum will take some getting used to. I don't think there is a play out there just yet that will get the defence.'

Friendly There was clearly no festive cheer during this exhibition match

Friendly There was clearly no festive cheer during this exhibition match

Agar claimed his club was not told of the experimental rules until just before their final training session and, therefore, did not have enough time to prepare for them.

'We didn't know about them until Friday,' he said. 'We would have tried some things around them had we had more time.

'Certainly I applaud the RFL for trying them and this was the right game in which to do it but the way it was communicated was wrong.

'We should know, then the players could have a say and the fans should know a bit earlier than they did so they could go away and debate it.

'There's a lot of senior, highly-paid management at the RFL who forgot to tell us which I find a bit disappointing.'

The RFL say details of the experimental changes were presented to the autumn meeting of the RL Council and their impact will be assessed in the new year before any decision is taken on their future implementation.

RFL chief executive Nigel Wood, who chairs the laws committee, said: 'Christmas friendlies are the perfect opportunity to trial changes such as these and I would like to thank all four clubs for their willingness to participate in the experiment.'

2012 football review: people of the months – Michael Walker

From the return of the King to the magic of Messi… the people of the months of 2012

|

UPDATED:

23:08 GMT, 23 December 2012

As a dramatic and memorable 2012 draws to a close, Michael Walker looks back on a year on the footballing road, naming his people of the month from January through to December…

January: Thierry Henry

They will not forget 9/1/12 in north London. It was the night King Henry came back to Arsenal, hopped off the bench and scored the only goal in an FA Cup third-round tie against Leeds. They were crying out for a special occasion at the stadium. Henry walked past his statue outside the ground and delivered.

Return of the King: Henry celebrates netting the winner against Leeds

Return of the King: Henry celebrates netting the winner against Leeds

February: Eddie Howe

In his Burnley office, one of England's brightest young managers discussed the fact that the Premier League had just three English managers while, in the Championship, there were 17. 'Strange', was Howe's assessment. Adkins and Allardyce have since upped the numbers. Howe's back at Bournemouth.

March: Pete Williams

On a bitter Tuesday night in Burslem, Pete Williams was outside Port Vale's grand old ground with a bucket. It is people like Williams – supporters – who keep clubs going. Vale's future was in doubt in March. They had entered administration and been docked 10 points. Thanks to fans such as Williams, Vale are going again, second in League Two.

April: Brian McDermott

It was easier being Reading's manager in April. The club had just returned to the Premier League by winning 14 of 16 league games from the end of January. The previous May's play-off final defeat could be forgotten and McDermott spoke of his 'lovely club'. Along the way, he turned down Wolves. Some people may choose to forget that.

Man of the hour: McDermott is hoisted aloft by his players after securing the Championship title

Man of the hour: McDermott is hoisted aloft by his players after securing the Championship title

May: Harry Gregg

48 hours after Manchester United had the title snatched out of their hands by Sergio Aguero, Sir Alex Ferguson took his players to Belfast to honour Harry Gregg. Sometimes the build-up to testimonials is more meaningful than the game and, in the programme, Ferguson recalled hearing of the 1958 Munich crash and wrote: 'Harry, for this 16-yearold from Govan, you were and remain my hero.'

June: Vicente Del Bosque

Remember when Spain were boring In northern Poland, Del Bosque was flabbergasted at the lack of understanding of his team's style, and the non-stop chatter. He was visibly bemused: Spain were about to become the first country in history to win three major tournaments in a row. Del Bosque reminisced to a time when there was less noise inside and outside the game, to a time when 'dressing rooms were utterly still, like inside a cathedral'.

Champions of Europe: Del Bosque's side parade through the streets of Madrid

Champions of Europe: Del Bosque's side parade through the streets of Madrid

July: Stewart Regan

Thunderous July rain in Glasgow accompanied an apocalyptic vision. Regan, the SFA chief executive, reacted to Rangers' shock exclusion from the SPL by inviting reporters upstairs at Hampden Park to warn of 'Armageddon' and 'the game withering on the vine' if Rangers were forced to re-start below Scottish Division One. A month later, Rangers drew 2- 2 at Peterhead in Division Three.

August: Rob Green

He didn't look happy and you could understand why. After six years at West Ham, Green joined QPR. His debut was a 5-0 home defeat by Swansea. Yet, 10 days later, against Walsall in the League Cup, it got worse. QPR won 3-0, but up in the stands was Julio Cesar. QPR were making a statement. Green, given no explanation, was left to read between its lines. Shoddy.

Shunned: Green was harshly treated by QPR

Shunned: Green was harshly treated by QPR

September: Margaret Aspinall

The report from the Hillsborough Independent Panel was a release of sorts for the Family Support Group. Football responded, notably Everton on the night they hosted Newcastle. They played the Hollies' He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother. Margaret recalled that her son James, 18, killed at Hillsborough, had bought the record for her.

October: Georgios Samaras

Unlikely, unfashionable but unflagging, Samaras had a year to remember. He was relentless for Greece at Euro 2012 and, for Celtic, he has been decisive in Europe. It was his deflected header in October that gave them a lead in Barcelona. They lost to a late goal, but we all know what happened when Barca came to Celtic Park two weeks later.

Unlikely hero: Samaras (right) heads home in Barcelona

Unlikely hero: Samaras (right) heads home in Barcelona

November: Chib Chilaka

For a while, it seemed like the most memorable feature of Torquay v Harrogate in the FA Cup first round proper would be the view from Plainmoor. Then, beaming Chilaka popped up for Harrogate to produce a trademark upset. Afterwards, he spoke like an ambassador for the part-time game. It was a classic FA Cup day.

December: Lionel Messi

We are fortunate to be witnessing greatness. Some can moan about the calendar year goal-tally, but not over Messi's talent. He has joined the list of the true greats at 25. Without him, Barcelona would be a very good team; with him, they are as good a side as has been seen. A prediction for 2013, or more like a guess: Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea (again) and Arsenal will have new managers in place by August. For United, that would mean the end of the Ferguson era. It is difficult to behold, but if another title or European Cup comes, it would be an appropriately successful way for Ferguson to go. But it is an if.

The world's greatest: Messi celebrates yet another goal for Barcelona

The world's greatest: Messi celebrates yet another goal for Barcelona

Gareth Barry admits Manchester City panic before Reading victory

We panicked! Barry reveals City relief after his late winner over Reading

|

UPDATED:

14:26 GMT, 23 December 2012

Match-winner Gareth Barry admitted panic had almost started to set in before his late heroics salvaged victory for Manchester City over struggling Reading.

The champions had been in danger of dropping vital points to the Barclays Premier League's bottom side before Barry headed home in injury time to snatch a 1-0 win at the Etihad Stadium.

City had gone into the game trailing rivals Manchester United by six points at the top of the table and, after failing to make the most of a clear superiority, had looked like handing their neighbours another boost.

Last action hero: Gareth Barry celebrates his late winner for Manchester City with team-mate David Slva

Last action hero: Gareth Barry celebrates his late winner for Manchester City with team-mate David Slva

But the hosts fought to the end and, despite claims by Reading that he benefited from climbing on the back of Nicky Shorey, Barry rose to meet a David Silva cross to plant home a firm header.

Midfielder Barry said: 'I am relieved and delighted at the same time, to get a goal that late.

'You are starting, probably, to panic, thinking we are going to drop some big points at home again.

'It is difficult, especially when you don't get the breakthrough early.

'The longer the game goes on the more you could see the Reading players growing in confidence.

'They started to believe they could keep us out for the 90 minutes. Even towards the end they were believing they could maybe get the winning goal.'

Royals boss Brian McDermott claimed the decision by referee Mike Dean to award the goal, as well as earlier denying his side a penalty, had ruined his Christmas.

Heads you win: Barry nods home City's winner past Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici

Heads you win: Barry nods home City's winner past Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici

Barry felt he had merely been playing for the ball.

He said: 'At the time I felt I just got up and Nicky Shorey was just standing there.

'I probably went over the top of him. I'm delighted the referee hasn't seen it as a foul.'

City dominated in all departments and had 17 attempts on goal to their opponents' six, although they did not regularly test goalkeeper Adam Federici.

Reading showed great defensive resolve throughout and Alex Pearce had two good headed opportunities from corners.

Jay Tabb thought he should have had a penalty after colliding with City youngster Karim Rekik during a second-half counter-attack – when Matija Nastasic might also have escaped with a handball – but Reading's spirited efforts were not rewarded.

City's 2012, particularly their dramatic title success, will be remembered for late goals and they ended their home programme for the year in typical fashion.

Barry, 31, added on City TV: 'You have got to [keep going] at this level. We scored so many late goals last season and a few this year.

'Those late goals can be so important at the end of the season and hopefully that will be another one.'

With three more games to come in just over a week, Barry felt the points were vital to keep the pressure on United.

He said: 'It is very important. When there is a little gap it is important you don't slip away too much further.

'If we can keep chipping away we are going to be there at the end of the season.'

Manchester City 1 Reading 0 – match report

Manchester City 1 Reading 0: Barry leaves it late to rescue champions

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UPDATED:

17:15 GMT, 22 December 2012

Gareth Barry headed a last-gasp winner as champions Manchester City denied Reading an unexpected and morale-boosting point at the Etihad Stadium.

City created numerous chances in a mostly one-sided affair completed in heavy rain but the visitors looked set to hold firm and lift themselves off the bottom of the Barclays Premier League.

But City fought to the end and Barry got on the end of a cross from David Silva to head home in injury time.

Last gasp: Gareth Barry celebrates scoring City's winner with David Silva

Last gasp: Gareth Barry celebrates scoring City's winner with David Silva

Living on the edge: A frustrated Carlos Tevez bemoans a wasted chance as it seemed City would drop points

Living on the edge: A frustrated Carlos Tevez bemoans a wasted chance as it seemed City would drop points

Match facts

Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Toure, Nastasic, Rekik (Milner 84), Barry, Javi Garcia (Dzeko 58), Y Toure, Silva, Aguero, Tevez.

Subs not used: Wright, Kompany, Lescott, Razak.

Booked: Y Toure, Aguero.

Goal: Barry 90.

Reading: Federici, Gunter, Pearce, Mariappa, Harte (Shorey 86), McAnuff, Leigertwood, Karacan (Guthrie 70), Tabb, Kebe, Pogrebnyak.

Subs not used: Taylor, Le Fondre, Hunt, Gorkss, Robson-Kanu.

Booked: Gunter, Mariappa, Leighterwood.

Ref: Mike Dean (Wirral)

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A seventh successive defeat was harsh on Reading, who after slumping 5-2 to Arsenal on Monday were much more resilient.

Under-pressure manager Brian McDermott
always knew the game was a tough assignment but was moments away from
claiming a more than creditable draw.

McDermott had made four changes with
Jem Karacan returning from injury to make his first appearance since
October while Chris Gunter, Ian Harte and Alex Pearce also came in.

It took less than two minutes for
Adrian Mariappa to collect the game's first booking as he clattered into
Carlos Tevez in an early attempt to impose himself.

Thereafter the visitors spent most of
the rest of the first half on the back foot, with Mariappa and Pearce
particularly working hard to repel attack after attack.

City could only curse their luck as they carved out several opportunities but failed to take them.

Getting to grips: Reading mostly coped well with their more illustrious opponents

Getting to grips: Reading mostly coped well with their more illustrious opponents

Blocked off: Sergio Aguero's threat was snuffled out as Reading defended manfully until the end

Blocked off: Sergio Aguero's threat was snuffled out as Reading defended manfully until the end

The hosts were so dominant that
18-year-old Karim Rekik, making his Premier League debut at left-back in
the absence of Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov, was able to get
through mostly untested.

The centre-back pairing of Kolo Toure
and Matija Nastasic, while senior duo Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott
looked on from the bench, also had a largely comfortable afternoon.

Tevez played in strike partner Sergio Aguero for City's first serious opportunity but Adam Federici rushed out to claim.

Aguero made another good run to reach
the byline but his cross evaded everybody before Javi Garcia planted a
firm header straight at Federici.

Silva played a neat one-two with Tevez
but shot wide and Aguero then teed up Tevez but Federici saved. The
ball rebounded to Tevez but his follow-up was deflected over.

A rare attack from Reading saw Karacan shoot well wide but City responded with Tevez crossing for Barry to head at Federici.

Sergio Aguero jumps over Adam Federici

Lack of goals: City's strikers are not on top form

Waiting for the breakthrough: Sergio Aguero skips over Federici as another chance goes begging

Pressure: David Silva tried to help City breech Reading's defence

Pressure: David Silva tried to help City breech Reading's defence

Silva jinked his way through the area
to create another opportunity but Reading scrambled clear as Yaya Toure
and Tevez jostled to reach his cross. Toure claimed he was impeded but
referee Mike Dean saw nothing untoward.

Pablo Zabaleta had an effort deflected over and Nastasic also missed the target as City maintained the pressure.

Aguero burst through just before the
break but Reading closed down shooting angles and Tevez could not get on
the end of his cross.

Tevez threatened after the restart but could only shoot at Federici.

Tevez tried his luck again from a
free-kick outside the area but his curling effort was pushed away from
the top corner by the Reading keeper.

Can't complain: Reading boss Brian McDermott will be pleased with the showing from his men

Can't complain: Reading boss Brian McDermott will be pleased with the showing from his men

All action: Barry fights for the ball as City refused to give up

All action: Barry fights for the ball as City refused to give up

Reading could have snatched a shock
lead when Pearce got forward to win a clear header from a Harte corner
but his effort was well wide.

City boss Roberto Mancini decided it was time for change and sent on Edin Dzeko for the mostly ineffective Garcia.

The Bosnian was quickly into the action and was millimetres away from connecting with a header after good work by Zabaleta.

Dzeko did win a clean header at a corner on 66 minutes but his attempt flew narrowly over the bar.

No you don't: Adrian Mariappa slides in to try and block Silva's effort on goal

No you don't: Adrian Mariappa slides in to try and block Silva's effort on goal

There were clear signs that the home
fans were growing frustrated with their side's ineffectiveness in front
of goal as the game wore on.

Mancini made another change as Scott
Sinclair came on for Tevez but it was Reading who next threatened as
Pavel Pogrebnyak broke and crossed for Jay Tabb.

Tabb went down after colliding with
Rekik but Dean did not feel there was a foul and nor did he see a
possible handball against Nastasic as the ball came in.

Reading grew in confidence and and
Pearce headed another good chance wide after Jimmy Kebe had won a corner
with a good break down the right.

As the game moved into four minutes of injury time, City launched a final push.

Aguero fired into the side-netting but
Barry came good as he jumped above the defence to reach Silva's ball
and head firmly past Federici.