Old Trafford

Next Game

Man Utd v Chelsea

Sunday, 26 October 2014, 16:00

Barclays Prem

The Hawthorns

Last Game

W Brom 2 - 2 Man Utd

Monday, 20 October 2014, 20:00

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

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

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

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

F

ergie, aren't you supposed to make a beep beep noise when backing up like that?

simonthfc
Ferguson: Club made Moyes decision

S

ome of these are quality! Why you no like him F365?? :(

left right out
The, Erm, 'Best' Of Henry James Redknapp

W

e're our own worst enemy. We're suicidal in defence, and we may just get slaughtered on Sunday. Other than that, I am very pleased with my team.

bob the manc
Van Gaal: We can catch Chelsea

Footer 365

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino coy on Jan Vertonghen

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has denied reports of a rift with star defender Jan Vertonghen.

Olympic Stadium cost soars beyond £600m as LLDC agrees to pay further £35.9m

The London Legacy Development Corporation is to pay a further £35.9m towards the cost of converting the Olympic Stadium.

Liverpool v Real Madrid: Steven Gerrard says Reds must raise their game

Steven Gerrard says Liverpool respect Real Madrid – but won’t let them have things their own way at Anfield.

Mail Box

Do Man City Have A 'Small Mentality'?

That's one claim in the mailbox after Vincent Kompany focused on a few hundred CSKA fans sneaking into the ground instead of City blowing a two-goal lead...

City: Like A Deer Caught In The Headlights

...while Chelsea just live for Champions League nights. That's one view in a mailbox that also includes several happy football fans and looks forward to Michael Carrick's return...

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