News and Views

Welcome Back Brian McDermott

18 September 2013
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Tonight sees the return of Brian McDermott as he brings his Leeds United side to the Madejski Stadium, in what should be a very interesting Championship fixture. McDermott should be on the look out for revenge after his harsh sacking from Reading last season, and will certainly feel he has a point to prove against his former employers. Reading fans were split at the time on McDermott's departure, and still are now, but there's no doubt that Brian remains a very popular man in Reading thanks to his many years of service to the club. He is guaranteed a very warm reception from the Reading fans before the game.

Since McDermott's departure, new manager Nigel Adkins has, so far, failed to put his stamp on the side with Reading having a poor end to last season with conclusive relegation, followed by a very average start to this season. McDermott has faired better, making a positive impression at the end of last season followed by a reasonable start to this campaign. Leeds are two points, and two places, above Reading in the Championship table. The Royals haven't won at home since the opening day of the season. Meanwhile Leeds last Championship game was an away win at Bolton last weekend.

The game will also see the return of another popular former employee - striker Noel Hunt. Hunt has failed to score so far this season, but a return to Reading is sure to increase his chances of finally getting on the scoresheet for his new club. Even Jay Tabb was able to score when he faced Reading after his move to Ipswich, despite never scoring for Reading in a spell that lasted well over 4 years and included over 100 appearances. It's always the way these things go, so Reading will need at least two goals to have a chance of picking up three points. Reading of course are having problems up front with only one goal scored in the last three competitive games and Pavel Pogrebnyak out suspended tonight after picking up a red card in Sunday's goalless draw against Brighton at the Madejski. Nick Blackman is expected to start up front for Reading and will be looking for only his second Reading goal in 16 appearances. Wayne Bridge should also start in defence.

Reading are undefeated in their last six games against Leeds United. The two sides played out four draws in the Championship before Reading won both of the games during the 2011/2012 season. We won 1-0 at Leeds before a 2-0 home victory in April 2012. Two late goals from Le Fondre put Reading top of the Championship table on that day, and well on track for promotion to the Premier League. The Royals will be hoping for a repeat performance tonight, but that outcome seems much more unlikely this time around with many home fans fully expecting McDermott to complete his revenge mission.

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