Old Trafford

Next Game

Man Utd v Hull City

Saturday, 29 November 2014, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Emirates Stadium

Last Game

Arsenal 1 - 2 Man Utd

Saturday, 22 November 2014, 17:30

Barclays Prem

McDermott sought Fergie advice

Brian McDermott has revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson took just five minutes to respond to a call from the Reading boss earlier this year.

Last Updated: 29/11/12 at 16:51 Post Comment

Brian McDermott: Sought advice off Sir Alex Ferguson last January

Brian McDermott: Sought advice off Sir Alex Ferguson last January

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Ferguson is renowned for giving a helping hand to up-and-coming coaches, but McDermott was taken aback by how quickly the Scot agreed to come to his aid.

Refusing to reveal exactly what he discussed with his opposite number, McDermott said: "I spoke to him in January about something that I needed to address and he was very helpful to me and giving me good advice.

"I spoke to his son and asked him if he wouldn't mind Sir Alex giving me a ring.

"And, five minutes after that conversation, a private number came up and it was him.

"So, that just tells you the calibre of the man and what he's about."

Pressed over what was said, he added: "That's between him and me and obviously just talking to him was good for me.

"I don't know him particularly well but I just know him from that instance and I know that he's done that with a lot of young managers in the past.

"He does a lot for football and for people in the game, and everyone respects that."

McDermott admits he faces one of the biggest tests of his managerial career when Manchester United visit the Madejski Stadium on Saturday.

"He has done it, been there, seen it," he said. "Everybody's got the ultimate respect for Sir Alex and everything he's achieved."

Take your pick

Outwitting Ferguson is only half the challenge on Saturday, with United boasting a galaxy of stars.

"How long have you got?" McDermott said when asked about their dangermen. "You can take your pick, really.

"But we have to make sure that we do what we have to do, and we go out there and we're ready, and our shape's right, and we attack the game.

"We're playing at home, we're playing at Madejski Stadium, and anyone that knows Reading Football Club knows that, in the last three years, how difficult a place it is for the opposition teams to come, and the stats bear that out."

Unfortunately, the stats also show Reading are four points adrift of safety in 19th place, with an alarming habit of shipping late goals. That makes a side notorious for scoring in the dying moments of games not exactly ideal opponents.

Denying complacency or a lack of confidence was behind the Royals' conceding 16 times in the final half hour of games, McDermott said: "It's a funny thing really.

"Last season, we couldn't score in the first half, for whatever reason, and we had to address that.

"We're conceding a few late goals now and that's happened to us in the past as well. We have to address that."

He added of Saturday's game: "It is Man United coming to town and I'm sure all the supporters would've looked at this one and thought, 'When are we playing Man United?'.

"It's a massive game for our fans and, for our players, the chance to play against the best is why we're in this league."

Reading could be boosted by the return of Danny Guthrie from injury but Jimmy Kebe is still a major doubt.

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

want to spend more time with my tit-for-tat Autobiographies . He probably didn't say.

megabrow (cufc)
Keane leaves Aston Villa

B

elieve in the dream Ashley. I have a hot tub, I still think I can get all The Saturdays in there for nekkid sexyfuntime. Failing that, Adele.

hump3.
Young: Man United target title

C

onclusions...we are truely living the dream now

dead yeti
Take Your Marks In The Premier League Sack Race

Footer 365

Premier League: Swansea manager Garry Monk defends Liverpool's Brendan Rodgers

Swansea manager Garry Monk has leapt to the defence of under-fire Liverpool counterpart Brendan Rodgers.

Premier League: West Brom manager Alan Irvine sees a defensive weakness in Arsenal

West Brom manager Alan Irvine hopes Arsenal's gung-ho attitude will be their undoing at The Hawthorns on Saturday.

Premier League: Southampton manager Ronald Koeman confident of continued success

Manager Ronald Koeman believes Southampton can thrive this term and is relishing taking on the Premier League big boys.

Mail Box

Don't Write Arsenal Off Yet (For Third)

That's the message from the afternoon mailbox, which also suggests Manchester City should look to bin Manuel Pellegrini. Can he take them any further?

Sanchez: A Sliding Doors Moment For Pool

One Liverpool fan regrets the club's failure to sign Alexis Sanchez and thinks Brendan Rodgers and Co should now target the domestic cups. A lot has changed in 12 months...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property