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McDermott keeps focused

Image: McDermott: Focused

Brian McDermott refused to get carried away after Reading beat Portsmouth, whose boss Steve Cotterill rued missed chances.

Reading boss refuses to get carried away after vital victory

Brian McDermott refused to get carried away after Reading beat Portsmouth, whose boss Steve Cotterill rued missed chances. The Royals moved into the Championship play-off positions on goal difference after Shane Long's first-half double against Pompey, who had Ricardo Rocha sent off. The victory made it eight league games without defeat for McDermott's side but the Reading boss was keeping his feet on the ground afterwards. He said: "We knew three points would get us into the top six and we have kept a clean sheet so I am happy with that. "In the second half we didn't play as well as we might and we didn't see the game out as well as we would like." McDermott was quiet on Reading's prospects of keeping Irish striker Long next season, preferring to think about their next game against Preston on Tuesday. "I think he has been on fire since the start of the season and playing well but not scoring. Now he is getting the goals as well," said McDermott. "We spoke about how good he is in the air. I could play him centre half because he won all the first headers from their corners, but I am not going to do that. "I am not thinking about losing Long or any other players next season. All we can do is train tomorrow and worry about our next game against Preston on Tuesday." He added: "They (Preston) have come from nowhere and could get themselves out of trouble. (Manager) Phil Brown has got them on a good run."

Cotterill critical

Portsmouth boss Cotterill was critical of his side's inability to find the net. "We could have been 6-2 up by half time. We had some gilt-edged chances in the first half and if we take those it's a different game. "A few chances fell to Dave Kitson today and if the first goes in he probably takes the others. He probably didn't recover from his first header which went wide." Reading's second goal came via the penalty spot but Cotterill felt it was a bad decision. "I didn't think it was a penalty for Reading's second goal. It was outside the box. The linesman didn't give it and he had a better angle. We showed the referee on a laptop at half time." He felt his side were to blame for the first goal, however. "We could have done better with the first goal. Jamie Ashdown is disappointed with the goal but it shouldn't have got there in the first place." The Portsmouth boss is still hopeful of a play-off position for his 12th-placed side, who now sit four points behind the sixth-placed Royals, having played a game more. "We were thinking of the play-offs before this game and we are still thinking of them," he said. "We only came out of administration in November and it is a big plus that we have turned that round."

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