Stadium of Light

Next Game

S'land v Man Utd

Sunday, 24 August 2014, 16:00

Barclays Prem

Old Trafford

Last Game

Man Utd 1 - 2 Swansea

Saturday, 16 August 2014, 12:45

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

O

K FIFA we're done, you can ban us now

jimmyjazz
Barcelona transfer ban upheld

A

h Daniel. I could spend hours on this subject putting the world to rights. You can even take a step back and ask why football fans (and society in general) have this need to know that something will happen before it actually does. There are times this important, when it comes to things like war, food production and natural disasters. A man you've never met changing his job? Not so much.

ajsr1982
Time To Burst The ITK Bubble

G

reat article. Hits the nail on the head. Encapsulates why I don't read tabloid newspapers anymore. The only thing worse is the 'told you so first' headline when they get lucky.

ianonabeach
Time To Burst The ITK Bubble

Footer 365

Transfer news: Juventus insist there is no truth in Arturo Vidal to Manchester United talk

Juventus director general Giuseppe Marotta insists there's no substance to the talk linking Arturo Vidal to Man United.

Manchester United have completed the signing Marcos Rojo

Manchester United have completed the signing Marcos Rojo from Sporting Lisbon.

Transfer news: AC Milan yet to receive an offer from Liverpool for Mario Balotelli

AC Milan insist they have not received an offer from Liverpool for their controversial striker Mario Balotelli.

Mail Box

So Long And Good Luck To Nani

A Mailbox that offers best wishes to a departing hero, defends Olivier Giroud, tells us to steady on over Calum Chambers and makes some amusing predictions...

Mailbox: Feeling Sorry For Poor TC23

If there's one loser in all the machinations at Man United, it's poor TC23. We have mercifully few mails on United, but lots on Arsenal and in particular Olivier Giroud...

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