Stoke City can show Reading FC the way to Premier League successBy Jonny Fordham
August 17, 2012
Brian McDermott believes Stoke City’s Premier League blueprint is the one to follow.
The Reading manager is an admirer of the way Tony Pulis’ side have built year-on-year to sustain their top-flight status since winning promotion in 2007/08.
There will be no pleasantries on the pitch from Royals when the Potters come to Madejski Stadium tomorrow (3pm kick-off), but off it, McDermott was full of praise for the unfashionable side.
He said: “Tony Pulis has established Stoke in the Premier League for a number of years.
“The staff, manager and players there have done a fantastic job.
“When I first met Anton Zingarevich (the new Reading owner) we spoke about Tony Pulis and the Stoke model and how well they had done.
“Not only have they survived, but they’ve got to an FA Cup final and played in Europe and brought in some real big players over the year.
“It’s a good model for us to follow. Anton hasn’t set targets. He’s bought into our philosophy and I wouldn’t expect him to set targets.
“We know what we’re trying to do and we know what our goals are. We have a long road ahead of us, starting on Saturday.”
One trait of Stoke’s that McDermott will be keen his Royals outfit don’t emulate is the Potters’ poor away from.
Pulis’ side have not won any of their last nine away games, scoring just three goals.
In total they managed to pick up just one win in 11 at the end of their previous campaign – compared to Reading’s emphatic run that saw them win 15 of their final 19 games.
However, Royals got off to a shaky start, winning just once in their first seven games, something McDermott is keen to put right.
He said: “We didn’t start well last season, but we managed to pick up and get stronger as the season went on.
“It would be great to get a good start and to get the right result tomorrow and that is what we will concentrate on.
“I’ll sit down and look at their games and then I’ll structure the team to deal with it.”
McDermott will also field a team that includes a number of homegrown talent, something that gives him extra pleasure.
He added: “I’ve known some of these guys since they were 15 – Jem Karacan, Pearcey, Hal Robson-Kanu and Churchy.
“The fact that they’re playing in this league gives us great pride and it should do for our fans too.
“This is their time and they have to prepare for what is to come now.”