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McDermott eager for Royals to restore pride against Liverpool

Reading caretaker manager Brian McDermott has labelled tonight's FA Cup third-round clash at home to Liverpool as "a massive opportunity" to restore some pride after the 4-1 defeat at Plymouth Argyle on Monday.

McDermott is still looking for his first win in the Royals hotseat and oversaw a desolate display at Home Park, brightened only by Gylfi Sigurdsson's sixth goal of the season for the Royals.

Reds boss Rafael Benitez has promised to field a strong side at the Madejski Stadium, but McDermott is concentrating more on his own players rather than worrying too much about the Anfield giants.

He said: "We had a meeting after Monday's game and we know it can't happen again, it mustn't happen again, and that's the key. Now we're going into a cup match against one of the biggest sides in the world and I think it's good for us. It's a massive opportunity for our guys, on TV, to go out and do their stuff. A lot of it is to do with restoring our pride after what happened against Plymouth."

The Royals will look back fondly on the last meeting between the sides in Berkshire. The hosts ran out 3-1 victors in the Premier League in December 2007 thanks to goals from Stephen Hunt, Kevin Doyle and James Harper, with Steven Gerrard on target for the Reds.

McDermott admits, however, that he has some demons to banish against the Merseysiders from his playing days.

"I dug out a tape from 25 years ago when I missed an open goal in front of the Kop, that's always been on my mind," he joked.

"It was a long time ago but hopefully that'll be put to bed if we go out and get something against Liverpool.

"It's a tough time for us but we're going to pull through."