Thursday 23 November 2017

Sigurdsson has Royal approval

Reading 1
Burnley 0

Jim van Wijk

Reading caretaker boss Brian McDermott hailed Gylfi Sigurdsson after the Icelandic striker's late goal dumped Premier League Burnley out of the FA Cup at the Madejski Stadium.

The Royals had won a replay at Liverpool in the third round -- after Sigurdsson netted a penalty to level the tie in stoppage-time -- to earn another crack at a top-flight side. McDermott's men were rewarded for a battling second-half display when, with just three minutes left, Andy Griffin's deep ball found its way through to the six-yard box where Sigurdsson guided his shot into the bottom corner for a ninth goal of the season.

The 20-year-old had shaken off a foot injury to start, and McDermott was full of praise for the young Icelander. "Gylfi had a couple of other chances before he scored, but his finish for the goal was from the top drawer," said McDermott.

"That is what he has in his locker. We were waiting for him to grow while he was in the Academy. He came over here when he was about 13. He is getting bigger and has a real aura around him, especially since he scored that goal against Liverpool, but he is a real down-to-earth lad."

Reading -- relegated from the Premier League in 2008 -- are struggling at the wrong end of the Championship table, with McDermott in temporary charge following the dismissal of Brendan Rodgers.

"I have said all along that I want the job and that I'm the right guy for it at this moment in time," said McDermott, who has been at the club for the best part of a decade since joining as chief scout in September 2000.

"We will see what happens when the chairman comes back next week. He will have watched the game on the website, but if it crashed I will have to give him a ring!"

Burnley manager Brian Laws lamented his team's failure to make the most of their dominant spell midway through the second half.

"We desperately wanted to get through to the next round, and we did not play as well as we were capable of," said Laws, in what was only his second game since being appointed as Owen Coyle's successor.

Sunday Independent

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