Players fully behind McDermott

Hal Robson-Kanu says Reading's players were never worried that manager Brian McDermott would be sacked.

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Brian McDermott: Has been told his job i

Brian McDermott: Has been told his job i

Reading's players were never worried that manager Brian McDermott would be sacked by owner Anton Zingarevich, according to winger Hal Robson-Kanu.

The Russian owner had been reported as saying he was looking at replacing McDermott with PSV coach Dick Advocaat and giving the former Zenit boss hefty financial backing in the January transfer window.

But the 30-year-old Zingarevich said last week McDermott's job is safe and the claims he was looking to sign up to 10 players in the new year were also false.

Wales international Robson-Kanu reckons the owner has been a pleasure to have around the club and never expected that he would dismiss McDermott after the 51-year-old led the Royals back to the Barclays Premier League.

"The owner gives full backing to the manager and that goes without saying," he said.

"As players we always knew that, it wasn't a surprise to us. The support that everyone has shown throughout the club has been consistent and it will continue to be like that.

"He is about the changing rooms after games and sometimes prior to games and obviously he wants us to do well, it is his club and we want to do well for him, it is a nice bond and it is special and long may it continue."

Robson-Kanu believes Zingarevich already understands the football club his company brought in May and said he does not attempt to tread on the manager's toes.

"He knows when to draw the line and leaves a lot of it - he actually leaves all of it - to the manager," he said.

"He has opinions on everything, as does everyone, he is the owner of the club and it is great to have an owner like that.

"I think Reading is quite a unique club, there is that feel and environment within it, the owner has bought into that and obviously the manager is a massive part of that as well."

Last weekend saw Reading secure their first league victory of the season with a 2-1 win over Everton.

Robson-Kanu was pleased to secure a maiden success against such strong opposition and hopes to take the momentum into Saturday's match at Wigan.

"In any season it is always important to get your first win and we have been waiting for a while now so to get that under our belt is a nice feeling," he said.

"Of course that is what everyone was talking about prior to the game, it can dwell on people's minds, it didn't on ours and now it is out of the way we will look to build on that and keep progressing.

"(You feel like) you almost belong in the league and that is an important feeling for the players but we genuinely felt that beforehand and we will continue to think that throughout the season."

A second-half brace from Adam Le Fondre secured the three points after Everton had led at the break following a disappointing showing from Reading.

The team emerged re-energised for the second 45 minutes and Robson-Kanu was quick to praise the manager's team talk.

"The manager just said we needed to show what we are about, raise the tempo and get in their faces and basically show everyone why we were such a success last season and we did that from the get-go of the second half," he said.

"As players we just try and do our best game in and game out and it took the manager's team talk to do that on Saturday and hopefully we will keep progressing."

The 23-year-old Robson-Kanu has risen through the ranks at Reading and is under no illusion as to how much of an influence McDermott, who has worked at the Berkshire club in different roles since 2000, has over the squad.

He said: "The manager has been fantastic over the last couple of years to the players and the club and has been a real inspiration to everyone.

"He has to deal with 25-odd players day in and day out and has to manage them - he motivates everyone and gets everyone together, pushing in the right direction and that is a massive part of our success.

"For us, we just look at him and it motivates us and makes us want to do well and improve."


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