Brian McDermott believes Reading’s home form will be the decisive factor in whether or not they evade relegation from the Barclays Premier League.
The Royals are hoping to climb off the foot of the table when they host Arsenal tonight by ending a five-match losing race that has seen McDermott installed as favourite in the managerial sack race.
Four of those losses were on the road and with three of the next four fixtures being staged at Madejski Stadium, McDermott knows his side are entering a critical period.
“At one point last season we had five defeats but ended up winning the Championship, so we’re determined to turn it around,” he said.
“We want to get out on the pitch and perform again. We just need a result for it to change. We’re playing at home against Arsenal which is massively important for us.
“We have home games coming up which is important because the Madejski will be integral to where we end up.”
Reading are desperate to atone for their worst defeat of the season yet, a 3-0 loss at Sunderland last Tuesday that has cranked up the pressure on McDermott.
“There’s no doubt we were short the other night, but before that we have been so close to getting over the line,” McDermott said.
“I had a text from someone who said ’you’ve had no luck whatsoever’, so that’s got to change. We’ll just keep doing what we’re doing.
“But the only thing anyone is interested in is results, and I know that.”
McDermott has ruled out the possibility of Reading spending their way out of trouble in January.
“The most important thing for me is the club. We are much better off than we were a year ago. I will never tell anyone to spend a load of money,” he said.
“Myself, the owner and chairman are working on the same page. Last year we won the Championship and this year it’s obvious what are objectives are.”