McDermott ignoring the critics as Reading attempt to avoid the drop

The Royals boss has defied the doubters after pulling the club clear of the bottom three thanks to a fine recent form, but insists that he is unconcerned by the opinions of others

Brian McDermott insists that he is ignoring his and his team’s critics as he fights to guide Reading clear of relegation.

The Royals have belied their doubters in recent weeks by losing just once in their last seven Premier League fixtures to pull two points clear of the drop zone after sitting bottom at Christmas, and McDermott says he has no interest in the opinions of others and is only focused on his team’s performances on the pitch.

"It is nothing about 'told you so'," he told reporters. "You never get carried away and all we can do now is concentrate on our next game and try to do the best we can and get a result.

"People will want instant success and every time you're involved in something that is not easy you are going to have peaks and troughs and we have certainly had those in the last three years.

"You just go through those, you always have a choice and you can keep going or give up and we never give up."

Next up for Reading is a daunting trip to Stoke City, who have been bettered just once this season at the Britannia Stadium - to European champions Chelsea.

McDermott understands the size of the task facing his team, but is adamant that the players will go into the match with everything in place to record another victory.

"They have lost one game in the league this season at the Britannia and every time you go there you know the fans are going to be vocal," he explained.

"Tony has been doing this at this level now for a long time and has been very successful, he has been to a cup final and did well in the league and has a decent amount of points again so he knows what he is doing.

"We have got to go there prepared and try and get the right result."

The manager revealed that the team will depart for a training camp in Dubai after the game, with eight days break before their FA Cup clash against Manchester United.

"We thought about this for a little while and we are going away for four days to train in a warmer climate and a change of environment," said McDermott.

"It has fallen for us quite well as we don't play Manchester United in the FA Cup until the Monday so it kind of works for us.

"We will get back on the Thursday, have the Friday off and prepare on the Saturday before travelling on the Sunday."