As the club's chief scout five years ago, McDermott remembers the frustration of seeing Reading slip down to the Championship on goal difference.
After conceding six goals in two games, his current Reading side are just one point behind Aston Villa, who are third from bottom and visit the Madejski Stadium this weekend.
In what could be one of the tightest relegation battles of recent years, McDermott says Reading must continue to press for goals during the final weeks of the season.
"I was there the day we went down and I know all about that," he said, with Reading's goal difference of minus 20 the best of the bottom four clubs.
"It could go down to goal difference. We went down by three goals in 2008 so we know that staying in the game is very important.
"We were 3-0 down to Wigan two weeks ago with 10 men after 50-odd minutes and the way they were playing the scoreline could have been anything. Hal Robson-Kanu scored late against Everton the other day as well.
"Every goal counts; you have to make sure you get the details right, it is so close.
"It might well be that everyone is looking at this end of the league instead of the other in a few weeks' time, as I think that will be done and dusted.
"It would be nice if we weren't part of that battle by the final day, but if we are then we are."