Doncaster Rovers vs Reading
Keepmoat STaidum, January 15, 3pm
MANY tipped the Royals to challenge for promotion this season following their remarkable surge up the table during the second half of last season.
But inconsistency has seen them locked among those currently in mid–table, battling to push towards the top six.
LOCAL lad Brian McDermott had to wait a long time to get his hands on the reins at Reading but did not waste any time in showing his managerial chops.
The former Slough and Woking midfielder has spent a decade at the club as chief scout, the youth and reserve team manager.
And when Brendan Rogers left in December 2009 with the Royals just three points off the danger zone, McDermott assumed caretaker duties and never looked back.
He led Reading to the last eight of the FA Cup including a memorable win at Liverpool and earned the job permanently.
SHANE Long was snatched from Irish side Cork City five years ago along with fellow striker Kevin Doyle and tipped as stars of the future.
But like Doyle, Long made an immediate impact in England and quickly developed into a full Irish international.
And after several impressive seasons, it seems the 23-year-old is set for his breakout year after netting 10 goals so far, including six in his last five league outings.
Deceptively strong for his size and pacy, Long was also a talented teenage hurler.