St James' Park, Newcastle

Next Game

Newcastle v Man Utd

Wednesday, 04 March 2015, 19:45

Barclays Prem

Old Trafford

Last Game

Man Utd 2 - 0 S'land

Saturday, 28 February 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

H

aha, as a German supporting United I can only agree with your great insight in German football! No idea why, but I HATE Eintracht Braunschweig and please don't ever place a bet on Leverkusen, they mess up my ticket every time!

utzelot
The Ten Most Hated Things In Football

M

ichael Owen's BT Sport commentary. Michael Owen's Match of the Day punditry. Michael Owen's annual moustache. Michael Owen's unwavering belief that Michael Owen could still do a job for England if called upon in the next major tournament

stevenjameshyde
The Ten Most Hated Things In Football

L

VG with Rooney up top. The 3 in MF being Blind, Herrera and Mata. Young on LW and Di Maria or Januzaj on the RW. You know it makes sense.

GVMUFC
Big Tactical Calls For Manchester Pair

Footer 365

Dave Whelan steps down as Wigan chairman with immediate effect

Dave Whelan has decided to step down as chairman of Wigan with immediate effect.

Tony Mowbray set to replace Steven Pressley as Coventry City manager

Coventry City will name their new manager this afternoon, with Sky sources reporting that Tony Mowbray will be placed in charge.

Chelsea captain John Terry says he is fighting to earn a new contract at Stamford Bridge

John Terry says he is fighting to earn a new contract at Chelsea and does not see himself ever playing for another club.

Mail Box

LVG Stick Needs A Little Context...

LVG's rough ride from the media needs some context - then you would understand, while the Mailbox urges Nabil Bentaleb to go down...

Henderson The Best Midfielder In PL?

Jordan Henderson is named by two afternoon Mailboxers as the PL's best midfielder, while another suggests Man United are trying to emulate Barca...

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