Brian McDermott will take charge of his first home game in caretaker charge of the Royals against Swansea on Boxing day. He will hope to fair better than Brendan Rodgers did at the Mad Stad, the former manager winning just one league game during his six month spell, but the inform Swans will be a tough test.
Royals Caretaker manager Brian McDermott – ‘I’m looking forward to playing at home, I think there will be a terrific atmosphere and a good crowd. One thing about our supporters is that if you play football in the right way, play on the front foot and get crosses into the box and shots off, they will support you. They’ve done that for a number of years.’
Reading Team News:
The Royals will be without Simon Church who is suspended following his red card against Bristol City, so Shane Long could start again. Jay Tabb should be fine after he was forced off agaist Bristol City at half time, and is likely to continue at right back.
Youngsters Abdulai Bell-Baggie and Jake Taylor could be included in the squad to give Brian McDermott more attacking options on the bench.
Player to watch: Shane Long
Irish striker is still yet to score this season and was a frustrated figure last weekend against Bristol City when he missed a number of chances, only too see his replacement Simon Church grab the equaliser. With Church suspended, he should get another start against Swansea and needs to make an impression soon or his Reading career could well be coming to an end.
Swansea Team News:
Stiker Craig Beattie has suffered a recurrence of a knee injury and is likely to miss the festive programme so Lee Trundle could start. Skipper Gary Monk has returned to training but is unlikely to feature on Boxing day but Mark Gower is back in contention.
Player to watch: Nathan Dyer
Former Southampton winger Dyer is enjoying life in Wales and is one of the main reason’s behind the Swans fantastic run of form. He is very similar to the Royals own Jobi McAnuff and will give both full backs a difficult afternoon.
Tuesday 18th August 2009, Swansea 0-0 Royals.
The Royals haven’t lost on Boxing Day since 2003, however we have drawn our last 3 including last season’s 1-1 draw with Swansea’s arch rivals Cardiff, and I’m going for the same scoreline in this one.
Monday 28th December 2009, Plymouth (A)