ARSENE Wenger has hailed Reading boss Brian McDermott as a miracle-worker ahead of Arsenal's League Cup fourth-round tie at the Madejski Stadium.
Wenger admires the success achieved by McDermott, a former Gunners midfielder, on a limited budget and believes he has the skill to keep the Royals in the Premier League.
Last season's Championship winners have yet to win in the league, but are one victory away from a place in the League Cup quarter-finals.
"Reading have made appointments from within the club well over the years," Wenger said.
"You have to congratulate Brian McDermott for promotion last year, I believe he made a miracle basically.
"When you get to the Premier League, the level of expectation is to stay and I feel they have a chance. McDermott has the qualities to achieve that.
"We expect a challenge and we know Reading will give absolutely everything when they play against us. Reading have done very well in their scouting. They are one of the examples of a club not spending money and living within their resources. I always respect that. There is some quality work behind their success."
Arsenal's trip to the Madejski Stadium continues a busy spell that includes Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday and Schalke, 2-0 winners in north London last week, the following Thursday.
Wenger will field a blend of youth and experience against Reading as the Gunners seek to reach the last eight of the league cup for a 10th successive year.
"Some players need a breather because they had two international games, Champions League and Premier League games," he said.
"They will have played five games in two weeks."