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Reading FC want to gain promotion for McDermott - Hunt

Published: 22 Mar 2012 17:300 comments

NOEL Hunt says Reading FC are determined to win promotion to the Premier League for manager Brian McDermott.

Reading striker Noel Hunt.

Reading striker Noel Hunt.

Since McDermott took over the reins at Royals in 2009 they have narrowly missed out on two play-off bids - the first falling just short with a ninth-place finish and the second ending at the final hurdle at Wembley.

They are on course to make it third time lucky this year, with defeat to Peterborough on Tuesday evening only slightly denting their automatic promotion ambitions.

And Hunt, who put Royals ahead at London Road, revealed the team are desperate to succeed for their manager.

"I'm gutted for the manager, he's been a revelation for this club since he came in and the boys want to do it for him," he said.

"It doesn't mean anything if you don't win, [but] we're still second, it's exciting, this is a blip and we'll try to erase it."

After a run of 10 games in which they conceded just three goals, the 3-1 reverse to Posh on Tuesday evening was something of a shock result around the Championship.

Even more surprising, though, was the fact two of Peterborough's efforts came from set pieces - an issue Royals will work on.

"Set pieces killed us, they were two sloppy goals and we know that," he commented. "It's not us. We'll work on that, it's not a major thing, we just need to tweak it and make sure it doesn't happen again. A lot of boys at the back will be disappointed, we all are.

"There'll always be some point in the season when you concede a couple of goals from set pieces, of course. The boys at the back have been magnificent, it's been exceptional for six months."

The match at Peterborough was Royals' third successive away game, and Hunt says the defeat could be a blessing in a disguise ahead of the final eight matches of the season.

"It could be the kick up the bum that we need," he said. "We worked hard but it was difficult in the second half as they sat in with men behind the ball, there was no room in the box but we need to work around that."

McDermott agreed with Hunt, conceding that the defending from set pieces was what hurt Royals most.

"We didn't get the detail right and conceded two goals from set plays. That's not like us at all. We've been excellent at the back all season and it's something we will be working on," he said.

"Peterborough caused us problems at our place but it was our own defending from set plays which really hurt us on the night."

Royals will be looking to make amends when they return home for a clash with Blackpool this Saturday (3pm ko).

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