Reading FC

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Reading emerged from mid-table obscurity last season to claim the Championship title, and in doing so secure their promotion back to the Premiership after a four year absence.

Just a year before, The Royals suffered heartache when they lost to Swansea in the Play-off final at Wembley, leading manager Brian McDermott questioning the clubs future.

And five months into the next campaign it seemed as though the Scots side were destined to remain in England’s second tier for at least another season.

However, strong performances from messes Kebe, McAnuff and January signing Jason Roberts saw The Royals climb from mid-table at Christmas to top by the final whistle on the last day, beating Nottingham Forest 1-0 to confirm their place as Champions.

Manager Brian McDermott told the BBC after lifting the Championship trophy: “My worst moment was on the pitch at Wembley in May last year.

“I didn’t see any good coming out of that, it was a bad moment.

“Of course this is my best moment in football. We’ve been promoted and I can celebrate for the next two months.

“I’m happy; we’ve done a good job this year. The fans are going to have a good summer and that’s what it’s all about. I had a miserable summer last year.”

Former Reading captain Adrian Williams told BBC Sport: “The turning point for Reading was when Kaspars Gorkss signed.

“It clearly wasn’t right at the back in the first dozen games and the manager went and signed Gorkss, who is a hugely experienced Latvian international.

“His arrival coincided with defender Alex Pearce improving and that was a massive moment. Brian could have just let it go but he didn’t. He recognised a problem, addressed the situation and signed a big-name player which eventually reaped big rewards.

“The job Brian has done this season has been brilliant, they have carried on from last season and it is no real surprise to see them promoted.”

The January signing of the experienced Jason Roberts from Blackburn proved to be something of a moneyball at its finest, as he quickly proved to be the catalyst in Readings’ upturn in form.

“His way of doing things is to quietly go about his job,” Roberts told BBC Sport.

“He demands respect and is very particular about the personalities he brings in. His man-management is outstanding and he goes about his business in a way I understand.”

Former Arsenal midfielder McDermott has looked to strengthen his side during the pre-season, adding the likes of Danny Guthrie from Newcastle and Pavel Pogrebnyak, who turned down the chance to rejoin Fulham after a successful loan spell last term.

And following their recent takeover by the Thames Sports Investment group, McDermott will the hoping to splash more of owners Anton Zingarevich loose change before the transfer window slams shut on September 1st.

Chairman Sir John Madejski told BBC Radio Berkshire back in January: “It’s great news for the club and the fans and means we can get investment which is what we need any club needs.

“We’re very proud of our reputation here at Reading, we’ve got a great manager, a great staff on and off the pitch, and a great squad of players.”

Last season all three promoted clubs avoided the drop, with the experienced PL trio of Bolton, Wolves and Blackburn losing their place in England’s top division.

And The Royals faithful will be hoping to emulate the recent success of the league’s new boys in recent seasons, namely Swansea, who won many plaudits whilst embarking on their maiden campaign in the top flight.

Reading managed it half a decade ago when they nearly qualified for Europe following promotion, and the Berkshire club will be hoping to do the same this time round.

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