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Interview with an away fan: Reading

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Reading are tenth with 30 points from 21 matches. Happy with that or did you expect better?

I think all Reading fans would tell you they're happy in 10th. Some people might say that last year's playoff finalists should be doing better, but I'm proud of 10th.

Brian McDermott worked wonders last season with the Royals and managed to get them to the play-off final. How has he done this season in the fans eyes?

Brian's a real fan's favourite, and despite sometimes making some decisions that we don't understand at the time, he's incredibly down to earth and admits if he's wrong. After losing Shane Long and Matt Mills, our squad was pretty sparse in those areas, but he's bought decent players for about a tenth of what we earned from sales last summer. He expressly said he wasn't interested in Le Fondre before getting him for £350k a few days later, and got Kaspars Gorkss, a league winning captain, for under a million. It'll be his 2 year anniversary of getting the job on the weekend.

You beat West Ham 3-0 at the weekend with a lot of the headlines coming from Jimmy Kebe. What do you think to the situation?

In all honesty, I can't believe that incident outweighed the result. It was a bit cheeky yes, but you've got to ask why the West Ham players gave him that much space in the first place. And no matter what happens on the pitch, you can't condone that tackle from Collison. It's a shame that it almost took away from the fact we beat a team who are pretty much Premiership quality 3-0.

We've loaned Alex McCarthy once again. He's been fantastic for us and some Leeds fans want to see him sign permanently. What are the chances of him coming to us in the future and what do you and the fans think of him?

I'm a big fan of McCarthy. He got his break in the first team last year after Federici got injured and frankly, did outstandingly considering the kind of teams we played and that it was his first team debut. He had a couple of slip ups, I'm sure you'll remember at Elland Road, but I think he, and most of the fans, were disappointed he was dropped when Feds came back. He'd played a lot of pre-season too. Ultimately, we've also got Mikkel Andersen at the club, who's a huge talent, so loaning Alex out wasn't short-changing us in any way. As for a permanent deal, I'd love to say there's no way it could happen, but with three classy 'keepers at the club, and with Feds in the form of his life, you never know.

How is Ian Harte playing this season?

Ian was key to our success last year, but something must've happened over summer, because when he came back he and Griffin on the other wing were utter shite. We bought Joe Mills in to compete with him and Mills has had the LB spot for most of the season so far. Harte's played the last two games and got a couple of assists from his set pieces, but his lack of speed is a big killer. He's become our impact sub this year.

Adam Le Fondre made the move this year from League Two, has he adjusted to this level and how has he been playing this year?

Like I said before, we desperately needed a striker after Shane left, and in typical Reading fashion, we were looking to buy small or develop from within the club. Everybody could see Le Fondre's talent at Rotherham, but I didn't think he'd slot in quite as well as he has done. He's got pace, strength and he's a decent finisher. He's still young too, so his future's looking bright.

Nearly halfway through the season, where do you see yourselves finishing?

Give me 10th and I'd be happy. That having been said, the playoffs are still lurking there, only 5 points away and the mind does hope. I think we need to maybe make one or two more signings in January and it could happen.

Who do Leeds fans need to watch out for on Saturday?

Le Fondre could prove a handful, as could Church if he brings his shooting boots. Kebe's our pace-man, but his final ball lets him down on more than one occasion. I'll go for Le Fondre though, he's due a goal.

What formation should the Leeds fans be expecting from Reading?

4-4-2 with two high wingers has been our preferred formation this season and it's worked okay. Sometimes the midfield can get swamped, and that's where teams like Leeds could excel.

Any Leeds player impressed you this year?

Ross McCormack has looked like a man possessed. He was pretty unlucky at Cardiff and I was expecting more of him last year at Leeds. This year he's gone on to show what talent he does have. Snodgrass of course is a fantastic player too.

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