McDermott: 'We don't feel promotion pressure'
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Victorious: Reading's players celebrate their win at Upton Park last weekend. Pic: Tony Knox.
BRIAN McDermott insists Reading are immune from the pressures of a promotion race as they get ready for tomorrow's sell-out clash against Leeds United (2pm kick-off).
The Royals recovered from a sluggish start to the season to storm up the table thanks to a blistering run of form.
Last weekend's stunning
4-2 victory at West Ham United left them second in the table and opened up a four points gap over the Hammers in third.
Now Reading can go one step closer to promotion to the Premier League by dispatching Neil Warnock's Leeds at the Madejski Stadium, a result that would also bring a smile to the face of new owner Anton Zingarevich, who is due to attend.
But, while the likes of West Ham appear to be wilting under the strain, McDermott and his players are relishing every moment.
"We had a bad start to the season for a number of reasons but in the last 30 games-or-so we're top of the form league by quite a long way," declared Royals' boss.
"We've got a lot of points in that period but there's no resting on our laurels. We have to concentrate on what's ahead and enjoy it now.
"There are a lot of people in football who look like they're suffering under the pressure. "But we're enjoying every single moment of this. We try and win every game, we never sit back and look for the draw."
Tomorrow's mouthwatering clash marks the start of a six-game run-in, with leaders Southampton and Reading now strong favourites to finish in the top two positions.
"Leeds is the first of these six games and the Madejski is going to be a full house, we can't wait," stressed McDermott.
"We're second in the league and we've put ourselves in a really good position. We're loving every minute of this."
Zingarevich's Thames Sports Investment group is poised to complete a £25 million takeover of the Royals, earning the Russian millionaire an initial 51% stake in the club.
And TSI say their most important investment is in McDermott himself after the 50-year-old was linked with a move to Wolves in February before signing a new three-and-a-half year deal at Madejski Stadium.
"I never spoke to Wolves," insisted McDermott. "They wanted to talk to me but we never had an official conversation.
"Our new owner, Anton Zingarevich, discussed things with me. We had a 48 hour window when we wanted to get things sorted and we did.
"Anyone who knows me knows I'm not motivated by money. Reading had spoken to me about a new contract four weeks earlier and I was always looking to agree a deal because I wanted to stay. After I'd spoken to the chairman and new owner I knew I was working with fantastic people."
And he added: "I had a great group of staff and players here, and I knew everything was set up for me. I just needed to know the new ownership wanted me to stay.
"If there was any slight indication that wasn't the case it would have broken my heart."