McDermott confident of Reading survival

Despite only one club in the Premier League era avoiding relegation when bottom of the table on Christmas Day, the Royals boss feels his team's "spirit" will see them through

Reading manager Brian McDermott believes he has "learned a lot" about the Premier League at the midway point of the season, and has backed his side to avoid relegation.

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.

9/1 Reading are 9/1 with bet365 to beat West Ham 2-1 on Saturday
"I've learned a lot about this league in 19 games. In the Championship we tried to win every single game because we wanted to entertain, but our fans want to see points and results.

"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."