Reading duo McDermott and Le Fondre scoop January awards

The Royals manager oversaw just one loss in the opening month of 2013, largely thanks to his prolific marksman's five goals in just four substitute appearances
Reading boss Brian McDermott and in-form striker Adam Le Fondre have been named January’s Premier League Barclays Manager and Player of the Month, respectively.

The Royals have lost just once in 2013, a 3-1 defeat against Tottenham at White Hart Lane on New Year’s Day, but were otherwise unbeaten in January.

The Berkshire outfit enjoyed come-from-behind wins against West Brom and Newcastle, and staged a stunning last-gasp comeback to draw 2-2 against reigning European champions Chelsea.

“It’s fantastic to win it and the most important thing is that the team and staff have done a fantastic job,” a thrilled McDermott told the club’s official website.

Le Fondre netted five times in just 89 minutes spent on the pitch in January - a goal every 18 minutes - despite failing to start a single game.

The Stockport-born striker recorded back-to-back doubles against Newcastle and Chelsea and scored from the spot against West Brom.

“It is a fantastic achievement for me, it’s madness really,” Le Fondre enthused.

“Just to think where I have come from and then to pick up this award, it goes to show what the hard work I have put in amounts to – I’m buzzing from it!”

Reading started January in 19th position and five points adrift of safety, but are now 17th and two points clear of the drop.

The Royals have lost just one of their last nine games in all competitions, and have progressed to the fifth round of the FA Cup where a trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United awaits them.