McDermott lifted by cup experience
Brian McDermott says Reading's role in injecting some magic back into football has healed the wound inflicted on a crazy night.
The Royals endured a 7-5 Capital One Cup defeat by Arsenal in extra time on Tuesday night despite having established a 4-0 lead.
Shell-shocked McDermott was comforted by owner Anton Zingarevich, who consoled his manager over a pint of beer.
And while the result was hard to accept, they took satisfaction in knowing the astonishing evening had taken the spotlight off racism and officiating.
"The owner was good, really good. Directly after the game he wanted to come down and he was really supportive," he said.
"He rang me up and he asked me to come and meet him in London, so we sat and had a drink together at a local pub which was nice.
"Everyone in the pub came up to us and said they'd watched it and said how it was one of the most amazing games.
"And you know what? We didn't talk about diving or referees. We just talked about football and that is what the game in this country needed.
"Recently we've been talking about a lot of things and none of it's football.
"We've got a great product and a great game in this country and you've seen that in the last couple of days.
"The consolation is that the game will never be forgotten, especially in my head."
Reading's last two matches have been lit up by 18 goals, with last Saturday's 3-3 draw with Fulham also fraying the nerves.
But while they are proving value for money in entertainment terms, securing a first win in the Barclays Premier League is the overwhelming priority.
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has suggested McDermott is under pressure, despite how little he has spent on players, but the Royals boss has the backing of Zingarevich.
"The owner was in a team meeting with us last week so he knows what we're about. He has known us since January now," McDermott said.
"Obviously we want more points on the board, but he knows that everybody is giving everything they've got, so he's been really supportive.
"In January he said to me, 'look we don't need to go up now, maybe have a real go at it the following season'.
"I said to him 'I'm 50 years of age now, I need to go up'. So I was the one who wasn't patient, but he was patient.
"He saw this season maybe a year in advance but now we're here."
If there is any scrutiny of McDermott's performance from Reading's hierarchy, victory over bottom club QPR at Loftus Road on Sunday would provide breathing space.
The manager remains calm, however, as he prepares to lock horns with QPR's under-fire boss Mark Hughes.
"Everyone's under pressure. That's the nature of the business," he said.
"You saw me at 11pm on Tuesday night, I was under pressure, believe me. We all are.
"You know Arsene Wenger was under pressure at 4-0 down. And that's what management is about and it's how you deal with that.
"I am absolutely loving every minute of it. Nothing worth doing is ever easy."