The Royals lie second from bottom in the table, six points adrift of safety, after winning just one match this season. They host Arsenal at the Madejski Stadium on Monday. A 3-0 defeat at Sunderland on Tuesday saw McDermott replace Martin O'Neill at the front of the sack race, which has already accounted for Mark Hughes and Roberto Di Matteo.
The 51-year-old McDermott said: "People talk about my job and I understand that. I don't go home at night feeling great about myself because we're not winning games. I'm favourite to go first, we all know that. Sixteen games ago I'd have been 50-1, now I'm 7-4."
He added: "That's how it works in football and I completely understand because it's a results-driven business. Generally over the last three years we've won a lot of games and our record is good, but all I do is focus on what I can do. We're not winning but we're trying to win."
So far McDermott has been given the full backing of owner Anton Zingarevich and chairman John Madejski, who earlier this week described speculation that his job is under threat as "totally absurd".
"The chairman has been very supportive, as has Anton. Anton was very supportive after the Sunderland game, he knows what the situation is," McDermott said. "The chairman has been supportive for the 12 years I've been here. He's been terrific for this club."
Reading fans have been equally sympathetic to McDermott and the former Arsenal midfielder appreciates their patience.
"Our fans have been fantastic, I can't fault them. They travelled in numbers to Sunderland and Southampton," he said. "They have seen loads of success in the last three years and at the moment it is a tough time.
"They are standing by the team. The alternative to standing by the team is not standing by the team and that isn't helpful.
"All I can do is ask them to stand by the team. I can't demand anything. We are doing the best we possibly can and I can only ask them to stand by us and they've done that."