The players are totally committed to the cause

Last updated : 22 January 2010 By Tony Scholes
The two managers have been speaking ahead of the game and they have reached this fourth round via very different routes. For Laws this is his first cup tie in charge of the Clarets whilst his counterpart Brian McDermott, in caretaker charge at Reading, has seen his side through a tough 3rd round tie against Liverpool that could well help him get the job on a permanent basis.

McDermott said today: "We're looking forward to it, it's another Premier League team and I'm sure there will be a cracking atmosphere. We can't wait and we want to be in the next round but it won't be easy.

"This is the greatest cup competition in the world. Everyone calls it a distraction from the league but I don't agree with that. It's amazing how quickly the rounds come around and suddenly you can find yourself in the quarter final. I look at that and think that's where we want to be.

"I want to give the fans a good second half of the season. They had a really good day out at Liverpool and we want more of that. If you can get close to the business end of the tournament then you never know.

"I go back many years and I remember watching the FA Cup finals in black and white as a child. It was a special day and it's a special tournament."

He continued: "As sad as I am, I went onto YouTube the other day and there was a 50-second clip from one of our fans behind the goal when Gylfi scored at Anfield. It was just before he took his penalty and you could feel the nerves.

"It was tangible and when we scored it was completely crazy and that's what being in football is all about for me. It was really special."

McDermott doesn't believe last season's play off games will mean anything to this fixture. "It's a new team, we look ahead to try and win," he said. "They've got a new manager; he is a good guy with more than 700 games under his belt. I watched their game against Man Utd and they were unfortunate, they could have taken the lead and they've got good players."

Laws is also keen to go on a cup run. "The players have shown they have an appetite for the cup competitions and they showed last year that it didn't have an effect on their league performances," the new Clarets' boss said.

"Let's hope we have the same again; a good cup run that kicks us on in the league. It does bring new finances as well which strengthens our hands in terms of transfers.

"We want to be in this cup as long as possible. It showed last year that anything's possible so there's no reason for us not to take this seriously and we will certainly be taking our strongest team to try and win.

"Putting our strongest team out against Reading is important because we want to try and get a settled side as quickly as we possibly can because a settled side will be a more organised side."

Laws wants a repeat of the sort of performance we showed last week against Manchester United but with a positive result at the end of it. "There were a lot of pluses that came out of the Old Trafford game and one thing that was very clear is that the players are totally committed to the cause and will give everything they possibly can to turn results round, particularly away from home.

"It's a record we are not proud of and it's something we have got to try and overcome and every game you do win away from home is of benefit to us because it grows confidence.

"There's no better time than now in the FA Cup to see if we can get a result under our belt for the next game in the Premier League. We went to MK and got a result and if we get a result at Reading to lead us into the next Premier League game at Bolton with the confidence of knowing we are a bit more organised and we are harder to beat then that will be encouraging.

"Wins breed confidence and confidence wins you games so we are going into this game wanting to win. If we can take that into the next league game at Bolton, and we know what's at stake there, all well and good, because the more confidence we have going into that game the better."