Reading: Brian McDermott backs Jaap Stam to put club in promotion contention

Brian McDermott
Brian McDermott's departure from Reading in May 2016 paved the way for Jaap Stam's appointment

Former Reading boss Brian McDermott believes Jaap Stam will pick his side up after a slow start to the season.

The Royals are without a win in five Championship games ahead of a visit to Leeds United on Saturday.

Stam's side sit in 20th following their run to the play-off final last season in his first year in charge.

"There's a long way to go and still so many points to play for and anything can happen in the Championship," McDermott told BBC Radio Berkshire.

Former Royals and Leeds United boss McDermott, whose second spell in charge at the Madejski Stadium ended in summer 2016 to pave the way for Stam's appointment, is back working as a scout for Arsenal.

"I look from afar and I have to say, the manager's done a fantastic job there," McDermott said.

"The summer he came in, I know he had a huge rebuilding job to do. He brought the club within a penalty kick of the Premier League in his first season, which is an unbelievable job."

Commenting on an under-par start to this campaign by Stam's squad, McDermott pointed to a similar run of form when he guided Reading to the Championship title in 2012.

"After six games, I think we also had one win, one draw and four defeats and in this day and age, that can be enough to get you the sack," he recalled. "But, we went on to win the league that year.

"Stam deserves a lot of credit in my opinion as they really punched above their weight last season and with the Championship, anything's still possible this season."

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