Reading FC boss appeals for calm in wake of Wigan setback
Published: 25 Feb 2013 16:301 comment
Royals hoped to make home advantage count in the critical six-pointer against one of their chief relegation rivals.
But McDermott's men came out second best on the day, saw striker Pavel Pogrebnyak red carded and were booed off the pitch at the final whistle after a third straight loss in all competitions.
Arouna Kone scored twice and Maynor Figueroa got the other as Latics netted three times in five minutes either side of the interval to complete the double over Reading this season following their 3-2 win at DW Stadium back in November.
While the win moved Wigan out of the drop zone, Aston Villa's defeat by Arsenal means Reading are one place off the bottom of the table, though only one point from safety.
And McDermott insisted he and his players must quickly recover from the setback ahead of a tough trip to Everton this Saturday (3pm ko).
"I'm going to move on quickly from that game, it's the only thing you can do in a situation like that," admitted Royals' boss. "It won't affect our mentality, that never changes whether we win, lose or draw.
"We had a bad day and we lost 3-0 at home which we never do. Saying that, my mentality is to go forward, train hard this week and prepare for Everton.
"There will be a lot of reaction to the defeat because that's what happens but, personally, I don't over react to any result."
He added: "This doesn't affect my belief in what the players have done in the last three years. We have 11 games left and I'll move on quickly from this.
"Wigan played well and congratulations to them. It is hard to play with 10 men but we kept going and we've got 11 games to go."
McDermott was incensed that referee Phil Dowd let Wigan's opener stand despite a suspicion of handball in the build up.
However, he had few complaints about the end result: "In the first 43 minutes there wasn't too much in the game but Wigan got a real spring in their step once they scored," he said.
"I know we're not getting decisions, we should have had a penalty at Stoke. But we didn't do the right things at the right time, we didn't get the details right.
"There's lots we didn't do right but congratulations to Wigan, they were the better side."
This was Reading's first home defeat since the 5-2 loss to Arsenal on December 17. However, despite a major improvement in form since Christmas, they remain in the relegation zone with a tough run of games to come.
Reading have a difficult trip to sixth-placed Everton at Goodison Park this Saturday then face Villa at home before back-to-back away fixtures at Manchester United and Arsenal.
To compound McDermott's problems, he will be without the services of Pogrebnyak for the Everton, Villa and United games after the Russian was shown a straight red by Dowd for a rash challenge on Wigan's Figueroa.
With Jason Roberts sidelined with a long-term hip injury, McDermott's options up front are severely limited with Adam Le Fondre and Noel Hunt likely to start at Goodison Park this weekend. But with pressure mounting on the Reading manager, McDermott is confident all is not lost in their battle to avoid the drop.
"We had a bad day but we've had many good ones in the last three years," he stressed. "The players have done fantastically well, they've taken us to the Premier League. Most people would have said we'd be adrift at this stage of the season, but we're still fighting."
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