The Royals sit 19th after 19 games, with just 10 points gained and just goal difference separating themselves and bottom club QPR.
Reading found themselves bottom on Christmas Day knowing 19 of the previous 20 teams in a similar position down the years have all been relegated, but McDermott has highlighted his team’s "real fight and spirit" as reasons to be positive.
"We have got to do whatever we have to get results," McDermott told the club’s official website.
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"At the moment it is tough but the fans have stuck with the players and I am grateful they have stuck with me. They saw real fight and spirit from the players against Swansea.
"People talk to me about history and positions in the table, points and what have you, but it's irrelevant. With 19 games to go this is definitely do-able for us.
"We enjoy and relish the challenge. We can do this."