McDermott: Reading FC weren't themselves against SpursBy Jonny Fordham
September 17, 2012
Brian McDermott admitted Reading gave Tottenham Hotspur too much respect in their 3-1 defeat.
Hal Robson-Kanu bagged his Premier League debut goal in stoppage time, but it was too little too late after Jermain Defoe's impressive brace and another from Gareth Bale for the visitors.
Royal face another tough task on Saturday when they travel to West Bromwich Albion - looking to add to their solitary point.
"I didn't recognise us in the first half," said McDermott.
"I thought we were too submissive and didn't get on the ball enough, be brave or get in their faces. We were bordering on being too respectful.
"We had to make the change at half time, then we were better for 20 minutes but we needed to score in that period to make it a different game.
"Bale's goal killed us. We were a lot better in the period leading up to that but we came up against a top class side who played well. They deserved to win.
"I know we'll play top class opposition and we will lose games - I can take losing, but we can't have the way we lost the first half."
Out-of-form goalkeeper Adam Federici was dropped for 22-year-old Alex McCarthy and McDermott explained that the decision was made easier due to a knee problem with the Australia.
McDermott said: "I decided to make a change and put Alex in, it was a tactical decision, but Adam has also got an issue with his knee so we need to have a real good look at that and get it sorted.
"He could be out for a little while, he has to recuperate and when he comes back he'll be challenging for that position.
"It's a grey area, the bottom line is that Luke [Anthony, the physio] said he wasn't comfortable with Adam being involved, and we have to look after the player's interest.
"Adam very much wanted to put himself up for the game but the most important thing is that we look after his long term situation at this club. He certainly won't be playing at West Brom, like I said I don't know how long it will be, it will be a while."
Reading were sent out playing 4-5-1, but that system failed to cause Spurs any problems with Garath McCleary and Jobi McAnuff unable to get quality ball into the box for lone striker Pavel Pogrebnyak.
"Whatever the formation, it's about the mindset," added McDermott.
"The first half is not what we are about and not how we play, we didn't perform. What we have to do is move on quickly, you have to in this league. We can't have performances like the first half and expect to win. If we do what we're capable of then that gives us a chance of winning.
"Sometimes we were trying to play our way out of positions where you can't do that. Clear your lines, do what you have to, which is what we've always done since I've been manager.
"First half we never got out to them, their centre-half kept coming out which is why I had to change it, to stop them doing that. They had different personnel to the last game, Gylfi and Dembele were very good together and Sandro holding well, we didn't get to grips with it until the second half but we gave a couple of goals away."