Old Trafford

Next Game

Man Utd v Tottenham

Saturday, 08 August 2015, 15:00

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

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.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

D

on't go to England at your age, you'll either be mugged or not appreciated. Or made to lump the ball long to a bloke who looks like a mascot.

megabrow (cufc)
Beckenbauer warns Schweinsteiger

F

rom the headline I presumed he meant boots, pants, jim-jams, toothbrush and paste, passport, tickets, premier inn long-term package, Scouse-English-Portuguese-German dictionary, 'How to be a 9 and 3/4' by B. Rodgers, few dozen tins of food and Evian because you can never be sure about the local food/water...

KevinBoatang
Firmino has 'everything' for PL - Willian

H

e looked like he was playing with a plastic pound shop ball in the wind against Juve, his passing was so bad.

paddy7s
Sergio Ramos: Exactly What United Need

Footer 365

Matej Vydra joins Watford on five-year deal after two loan spells

Striker Matej Vydra is back with Watford, this time on a permanent basis after signing a five-year deal to join the club from Udinese.

Cech thanks Roman for overruling Jose

Petr Cech has thanked Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich for allowing him to join Arsenal against Jose Mourinho's wishes.

Sporting Braga striker Eder completes medical for Swansea transfer

Striker Eder has undergone a medical at Swansea as his transfer from Sporting Braga nears completion, Sky sources say.

Mail Box

Liverpool Are Attractive To Strikers

You've got little competition and bags of service from midfield, so surely strikers would love to join Liverpool? Plus England's future, Callum Wilson handshakes and...

Arsenal Only Need Two More (As Ever)

One Chelsea fan still doesn't see Arsenal as title contenders, plus we have thoughts on Petr Cech, Sergio Ramos, Heurelho Gomes, Paulinho and Arsenal Denilson...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company