The Royals earned their place back in the Barclays Premier League after a stunning series of 15 wins in 17 games to go up as champions.
With 10 matches left to secure their hard-earned top-flight status, McDermott is confident a similar run can follow.
The first major test of the Royals' run-in - which includes trips to Manchester United and Arsenal before the end of this month - comes at home to fellow strugglers Aston Villa on Saturday.
Reading have been parked in the bottom three for the majority of the season but victory at the Madejski Stadium could send them clear of trouble and spark what McDermott hopes will be his side's own great escape.
"I know we are going to finish strong. We generally finish strong," McDermott said.
"We have players that won a league last year and came from nowhere. We have that sort of experience and this is a similar sort of thing for us.
"For us it is a 10-game season now. We know what it's about, we know what is required.
"We did what we had to do last year and will aim to do what we need to this year."
McDermott's bullishness belies the chastening 3-0 reverse his side suffered against Wigan last time out at the Madejski Stadium.
Wigan have set the recent blueprint for avoiding the drop - their own run last year saw them beat both United and Arsenal - to give McDermott further hope their "bad day" against the Latics a fortnight ago will not be repeated.
"Listen, Wigan had a really good day a couple of weeks ago at the Madejski Stadium," he said.
"That's football. At this level these things can happen. So let's hope we have a great day on Saturday.
"All I know is that we are right in the mix. I remember at Christmas time we were six points adrift. I think people would have thought we would be down by now.
"That's definitely not the case."
However, McDermott can hardly afford a repeat of the Wigan performance.
After that result, his players came under fire for failing to grasp the significance of the match, and with Villa's visit looming as an almost identical scenario, McDermott is certain they are aware what is at stake this time around.
"I don't think I have to go into our players on Saturday at 10 to three and say 'by the way lads, this is a really important game today'," he said.
"They've probably sussed that themselves.
"They know how important it is for them, their families and for the club. It doesn't need me to reinforce that.
"Everyone is pretty sharp in our dressing room. We know what is required. It doesn't need me to reinforce that. It's clear to see."
McDermott will again be forced to call upon third-choice goalkeeper Stuart Taylor after the veteran made his first Premier League appearance since 2008 in last weekend's 3-1 loss at Everton.
Despite the rarity of the former Villa man's recent appearances, McDermott thinks he will ably fill the void left by Adam Federici (ankle), who is at least another week away from a return.
"Absolutely (I have faith in him). I thought he was excellent last weekend," said McDermott, who could also be without Jimmy Kebe while Pavel Pogrebnyak is suspended.
"You saw the first two goals - Fellaini's header and Pienaar's goal. There's not much you can do about that.
"Stuart has been fantastic for us since he's been at the club.
"I've no problem with Stuart."
McDermott also confirmed that long-serving Icelandic midfielder Brynjar Gunnarsson is set to leave the club to take up a coaching position in his homeland.