Brian McDermott has been appointed as Reading manager for the second time, and the club expect him to once more lead them to the Premier League.
The 54-year-old has a long history with the Madejski Stadium club, having initially being employed as a scout during Alan Pardew’s reign in charge back in 2000. After working with the under-19 side and managing the reserve team, he was placed in charge of the first team, initially on a temporary basis, in December 2009 following the departure of the sacked Brendan Rodgers.
He was given a 12-month rolling contract in February the following year, and during his first full campaign in charge took them to the Championship playoff final where they lost to Rodgers and Swansea City. But following a run of 15 wins from 17 matches he guided the Royals to the Premier League in 2011/12 when they also went on to clinch the second-tier title.
Despite being named Premier League Manager of the Month in February 2013 he was sacked the following month, but in April he was back in the game as manager of Leeds United. This was prior to Massimo Cellino taking over the Elland Road club, and the Italian began his spree of controversial sackings by dismissing McDermott – at the second attempt – in May 2014.
He has since been working as a scout for Arsenal, a club he represented as a player, but he is now back at Reading following the exit of Steve Clarke. Co-chairman John Madejski told the official club website: “I’m absolutely delighted to welcome Brian back. He was able to win us promotion to the Premier League before and now it is his mission to do it again.”
McDermott returns to find Reading just below halfway in the table, and seven points adrift of a playoff spot. Speaking ahead of the visit of Blackburn Rovers on Sunday, he said: “My gut feel was really important for coming back. It just felt right and I’ll do everything I can to be successful. This league is all about momentum. If you can get a result on Saturday, you can roll on.”