Royals boss expects response

Reading manager Brian McDermott is confident his team will respond to their defeat to Wigan in a positive manner at Everton on Saturday.

Wigan won 3-0 at the Madejski Stadium last weekend, sending McDermott's side back into the Premier League relegation zone as a result.

A tough trip to Goodison Park is next up for the Royals, who picked up their first league win of the season against the Toffees back in November, and McDermott reckons his players are ready to right the wrongs of the Wigan defeat.

"Everyone came in on Monday and was ready to crack on," he said.

"The first 43 minutes of that game (against Wigan), we could have been one up and it could have gone either way.

"You can look at the camaraderie - Wigan were at their best and are a decent side when the opposition are down to 10 men, but our boys hung in there and the camaraderie is first class, so we have got to move on from that and look ahead to our next game.

"They are all raring to go. Everyone is raring to go and looking forward to going there."

Reading won on their last visit to Goodison Park, a 1-0 FA Cup fifth-round clash two years ago, and McDermott is a big fan of everything Everton stand for.

"We've been to Everton in the FA Cup. It was a great atmosphere and a great night there," he said.

"We played them earlier in the season and everyone knows they are a good side, with a good manager. I get on really well with David Moyes - he is a good guy and good company.

"I'm looking forward to going there. The fans that they have got are really football fans and they know their stuff. We want to go there, put on a performance and get a result."

The Royals travel without injured goalkeeper Alex McCarthy, who continues to recover from a shoulder injury, and experienced forward Jason Roberts.

Roberts said on Wednesday that he had no time-frame on a return and that the club's medical staff had "exhausted everything they can to try and make it right", but McDermott had a more positive outlook on the 35-year-old's situation.

"I think Jason said himself that we have to wait and see day to day," he said.

"He was out on the training pitch with the physios the other day and was kicking a few balls around, so he is in a much better place than he was a couple of weeks ago."

When asked if he thought he would have Roberts available for selection in the run-in, McDermott replied: "Hopefully, yes."

The Berkshire club have won just once on the road in the league this season but a victory on Merseyside this weekend could see them leapfrog Aston Villa and Wigan as they look to survive in the top flight after being promoted as npower Championship winners last term.