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Having seen the Royals relegated from the Premier League by the finest of margins during his time as the club's chief scout, the 51-year-old is keen to avoid a repeat

Reading manager Brian McDermott believes goal difference could prove vital to his side's bid to avoid relegation from the Premier League.

The Royals currently sit in 19th place in the top flight, a point short of safety, but have a better goal difference than both Aston Villa and Wigan in 18th and 17th respectively.

The 51-year-old was chief scout at the Berkshire club when they were relegated by virtue of goal difference in 2008, and is eager to avoid a similar situation this time around.

“It could go down to goal difference. I was there that day [during relegation] and I know all about that,” he told reporters.

“It was painful to go down. I remember we were 4-0 up against Derby and if we had scored another three goals then we would have stayed up. We were playing that well that we had a chance.

“We nearly did it, but that is history. You have to make sure you get the details right, it is so close.

“We were 3-0 down to Wigan with 10 men after 50-odd minutes and the way that they were playing it could have been anything.

“But we went down by three goals. Hal Robson-Kanu scored late [in a 3-1 defeat] against Everton last Saturday.

“Staying in the game is so important. There are fine margins and if it is down to millimetres and that’s what it takes then great.”

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