McDermott relaxed ahead Hull City clashBy Jonny Fordham
August 26, 2011
Brian McDermott is just as relaxed as ever ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Hull City, despite suffering three defeats in a row.
With the international break following on from Royals’ venture to the KC Stadium (3pm kick-off), McDermott’s men are in desperate need of a win to give their season an early boost.
The Tigers have won just once in their last 10 home games and have scored just 23 goals in their last 27. So both teams will be looking to kick-start their campaigns this weekend.
“I can’t affect what has gone on,” conceded McDermott.
“All I can do is affect what is to come. We’re working hard in training on the way we need to play and we’re trying to build.
“I’m not putting any pressure on the players.
“The last thing we want to do is to be talking about where we want to end up. The pressure is put on by outside forces.”
Apart from the 2-0 win at Leicester City earlier this month, Royals have fallen victims to letting in the first goal in all of their games so far this season.
And McDermott has stressed to his squad how important it is to keep it tight at the back and not concede at set-plays.
“It’s a sin of the highest order,” admitted McDermott.
“We got done on a set-play against Portsmouth and then Barnsley.
“We have spoken about it and we take pride in scoring from set-plays. And to concede from them is very galling.
“I’m just trying to get our side back into the right place. I’ve been here before and we just have to get through it and start winning games.
“It’s a concern when you lose the first goal as well.”
Right-back Shaun Cummings could keep his place in the side after his man-of-the-match performance in the 2-1 defeat to Charlton Athletic – but first-choice defender Andy Griffin has recovered from a hamstring strain.
Royals have no other injury concerns with left-back Marcus Williams also fit again after shaking off a groin problem.
New signing Kaspars Gorkšs is expected to come straight into the staring XI and McDermott said:
“He played 42 games for a team that won the league last year, so there’s every chance he will play.
“I just got the sense we needed to get some calm around the place. We had lost three games and we need to calm the whole thing down, start talking about football again rather than other matters.
“That’s really, really important. There’s been a little bit of anxiety around the place, both within the group and the supporters and I understand that.
“That needs to go down, we need to calm the whole thing down and do what we do best, which is the football.”