Reading FC captain Jobi McAnuff says players are to blame for McDermott sacking
Published 14 Mar 2013 15:30 0 Comments
READING FC skipper Jobi McAnuff admits the players are to blame for Brian McDermott's sacking.
McDermott was axed on Monday along with first-team coaches Nigel Gibbs and Yannis Anastasiou.
Members of Reading's first-team squad were told the news via a text from the club telling them to check the media.
The timing of the decision shocked Royals supporters, with Reading four points from safety and only nine games left to play in the Premier League season.
And while McDermott's tactics came in for criticism in the latter days of his reign, McAnuff believes the finger should be pointed directly at the players.
Reading look to end a four-match losing run when they go to Manchester United this Saturday with academy director Eamonn Dolan in temporary charge.
McAnuff lamented: "As players we all feel responsible for the decision that has been made as it's our performances out there on the pitch that dictate results.
"In that respect we understand the results - particularly of late - haven't been good enough and that's something we are trying our hardest to address. Now we've got nine games to go to turn things around for the players, staff and supporters."
It was McDermott who appointed McAnuff as his captain and the 30-year-old paid tribute to the departed manager who took Royals to a play-off final at Wembley, two FA Cup quarter-finals and won promotion to the Premier League last season.
"On behalf of myself and all of the players I would like to express our massive gratitude to Brian and Gibbo," he stated.
"I must say a massive thank you to Brian for what he has done, not only for myself in making me captain, but for the rest of the squad.
"It has been a great period and he has been fundamental in that success.
"I don't think anyone can argue that he has left Reading in a far healthier position than when he first came in with the club at the wrong end of the Championship."
He added: "In his own calm, measured and respectful way he took us to where we are today. For that, everybody at the club will be eternally grateful and us players owe him a huge debt.
"He is a top manager but above all else he is a truly good man. It goes without saying we wish him all the very best in his next challenge, which I'm sure will be soon."
McAnuff was one of the first to speak to McDermott after his sacking. He has since gone on holiday to Ireland and was unavailable for comment when the Reading Chronicle went to press.
"We spoke on the phone on Monday," explained McAnuff. "Obviously it was a difficult conversation but he handled himself with great dignity.
"He wished us all the best for the season, which is a mark of the man. He didn't talk about himself or what had happened, he just had the players' and the club's best interests at heart."
** ALEX McCarthy has resumed full training more than four months after injuring his shoulder.
Royals' keeper has not played since colliding with a post late in a 1-1 draw at QPR on November 4.
The 23-year-old needed surgery to repair the damage but returned to training this week.
McCarthy has played eight games this season and could reclaim his first-team place soon. **