Royals boss plays down friendly importance
Reading manager Brian McDermott has shrugged off any accusations that the Royals have had a poor pre-season, saying next week's game against Stoke is the one that really matters.
The former Slough boss has only seen his side win one pre-season game out of their six friendlies so far, but McDermott is not concerned by this in the slightest, emphasising the need for his new players to gel. Reading will play their final pre-season friendly tomorrow, when they return to the Madejski Stadium to face Championship side Crystal Palace.
Speaking to the Reading FC official site, McDermott said: 'Pre-season training has been great. Over time we've never done brilliantly in friendlies results-wise but the most relevant is Stoke, we'll be ready, a big crowd in the Barclays Premier League and we can't wait to get going. There's still time, we're not quite where we'd want to be but you don't expect that.'
'We will get stronger as the season goes on because we generally do that. Friendlies are definitely a lot different to League games. You're giving players the minutes that they need. Now we are working with the shape of the team, we did that against Brighton and will do so again against Palace, looking ahead to Stoke and how we're going to play.'