McAnuff says: 'Good times lie ahead'
Published: 22 Nov 2012 14:301 comment
Royals have a critical week ahead, with back-to-back trips to Wigan Athletic and Aston Villa followed by a mouthwatering clash with Manchester United at Madejski Stadium.
It could be a make-or-break period for Brian McDermott's team, with Wigan one place above the Royals in the table and Villa one place below.
And if the pressure of playing two potential six-pointers in a matter of days is not enough, Reading then host Sir Alex Ferguson's title-chasing Red Devils on December 1.
It is a run that few teams would relish, but McAnuff looks at it differently.
Now, with confidence oozing thanks to last weekend's much-needed win over Everton, he even argued that a busy run of fixture could play into Reading's hands.
He said: "We now focus on Wigan. Games in quick succession suit us so we'll be going into Saturday with loads of confidence off the back of an important win.
"The win against Everton had been coming. We had that bit of luck which we haven't had recently. We also put in a fantastic performance in the second half, especially on the back of the first half."
Whether McAnuff's confidence is misplaced remains to be seen but the victory over high-flying Everton has certainly lifted the gloom over Madejski Stadium.
Reading had not won in 10 Premier League outings before last Saturday amid reports that owner Anton Zingarevich was poised to axe McDermott and bring in PSV Eindhoven boss Dick Advocaat.
Zingarevich, though, has flatly denied those rumours, backed his manager and confirmed funds will be available to strengthen in the January transfer window.
It has brought a difficult week to a positive ending, though McAnuff knows there is plenty of hard work ahead if they are haul themselves out of trouble.
He also admitted they must improve on their first-half showing against David Moyes' Toffees last weekend.
"We rode our luck in first half and Adam Federici was superb in goal," he stated. "Feds showed what a top keeper he was. He pulled off some really good saves and kept us in it.
"But the second half was more what we're about. We played higher up the pitch and got after Everton which was very pleasing."
Royals were wary of Everton dangerman Marouane Fellaini going into last weekend's fixture, but Toffee's big threat failed to materialise.
That was largely due to another outstanding performance from 21-year-old centre-back Sean Morrison, who is set to retain his place in defence at Wigan's DW Stadium this Saturday.
McAnuff beamed: "I was really pleased for Sean. It is not easy when you are not playing games and earlier in the season he wasn't. It would have been easy for him to get frustrated but he has been working really hard and putting in a lot of work people don't see.
"The gaffer has given him his chance and he has taken it with both hands. He has been superb since he has come in and long may that continue."