Plenty to smile about if your are a Royals’ fan

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In terms of the FA Cup there are probably few people who enjoy it as much as Brian McDermott. Whilst there was a definite improvement in our performances after he took over from Brendan Rodgers, there is little doubt that it was our outstanding performance against Liverpool that got him the job full time.

The cup run, something Reading fans have not experienced for many years, was a real bright point of the season and something that is still spoken of with fondness.

West Brom may not be in the best form, and beating them on Saturday wasn’t quite a giant-killing of Liverpool proportions, but it was still somewhat satisfying.

After starting the game well we took our foot of the gas slightly in the second half, something we were lucky not to be punished for. Sitting back and defending leads is never something we have been strong at, but Wet Brom having ten men probably helped us out.

This is probably something we can’t afford to do in the next round. Personally I always dread the ties against teams from the leagues below. At least when you play teams above losing is expected and winning is seen as a bonus. Playing a team from two divisions down has disaster written all over it, especially if it’s away.

The one thing we can’t afford to do is underestimate Steveange (ala Newcastle) as another cup run would certainly please the fans (not to mention bring in a little extra cash).

Since we ended our run of draws over a month ago everything we try seems to work. Saturday saw Cumming’s started his first game since October and he put in a man of the match performance. It’s hard to believe that just over a year ago many fans refused to call Cumming’s a footballer.

He appeared to have low confidence and the little bit that he did have seemed to leak out with every misplaced pass. He also possessed a nervousness you never want to see in any defensive player. His transformation under McDermott has probably been greater than that of any other player and hopefully he won’t have to wait as long for his next game.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.

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