We are close, but we have to just get closer

Last updated : 24 January 2010 By Tony Scholes
"It was a fabulous performance," said McDermott after seeing Gylfi Sigurdsson score the late winner. "We were strong and had a lot of energy throughout the team. I definitely thought we were good value for the win.

"In the first half we were trying to take the game to Burnley. In the second half we made substitutions that showed we were clearly trying to win the game. We thought it was really important to win it here, we didn't want a replay.

"Gylfi went inside for the final stages and played instead of Brynjar [Gunnarsson] in the middle of the pitch. And then he came up with that important goal. It was a terrific finish and I'm chuffed for him. I'm chuffed for everybody to be honest.

"Just before the goal Adam [Federici] had to make an excellent save and he's pulled one out of the top corner and pushed one away at the bottom corner. He was excellent today but so were the whole team. I'm absolutely delighted.

"I've been involved for six or seven games now and barring the first half display at Forest and the trip to Plymouth, we've had some real performances in those games. I think we're really coming together now, and that's really important. If you keen doing the right things you'll win football matches and you saw that today."

It proved to be a disappointing day for Brian Laws who was forced into a late reshuffle when Stephen Jordan pulled out with a hamstring injury and his obvious replacement Christian Kalvenes was away with his wife who is about to give birth. To add to that Steven Thompson was suffering illness but started the game.

"In the end we are disappointed not to be in the hat, but there were two players out there today who were nowhere near 100 per cent fit, three if you look at Steven [Thompson] who was ill all night," Laws said. "So the positives I am taking are Chris [McCann] and Martin [Paterson], who came back in.

"We had been organised in training all week and suddenly we had to change everything because of Stephen [Jordan] getting a hamstring injury. Chris was due to play in midfield and had to drop back and both he and Paterson getting game time are real positives because they have been sadly missing.

"Up front Steven gave it a right go and credit to him, but he had no energy levels and it showed. In the second half we changed that with Paterson and we upped the tempo and looked much more dangerous."

He added: "Losing away from home is nothing new. We are close, but not close enough and I am taking a few positives out of that from today's performance. We are a much stronger unit defensively and Brian Jensen didn't have a great deal of quality saves to make.

"I thought we dealt with Reading really well and although we switched off at the end, there are lessons to be learned. We are close, but we have to just get closer.

"We are going in the right direction in terms of being solid, but I want the football as well because the lads are capable of it. If we can combine the both then we are a good side and now we have good players coming back, which will make us a better side."