McDermott confident Reading will beat the drop
Reading's battle for Barclays Premier League survival may not be pretty but manager Brian McDermott insists it can be successful.
The Royals ended a run of seven consecutive defeats by grinding out a goalless draw against Swansea on Boxing Day, a result which was enough to lift them off the bottom of the table although they still remain six points from safety.
After a series of high-scoring defeats, McDermott made no apologies for Reading's change in emphasis as they attempt to become only the second team ever to avoid relegation having been bottom of the league at Christmas.
"We have got to do whatever we have to to get results," McDermott said ahead of Reading's clash with West Ham.
"I've learned a lot about this league in 19 games. In the Championship we tried to win every single game because we wanted to entertain, but our fans want to see points and results.
"The players want points - we try to get three points from every game - but we're all sensible because we don't want to lose. We have got to be resilient as a group and a team. It is obvious we can't be giving four or five goals away at home (as Reading did in their previous two home games against Manchester United and Arsenal). It is a better place to play from.
"In the last three seasons we have had relative success. We have been to a play-off final, two quarter-finals and we won promotion. At the moment it is tough but the fans have stuck with the players and I am grateful they have stuck with me.
"They saw real fight and spirit from the players against Swansea.
"People talk to me about history and positions in the table, points and what have you, but it's irrelevant. With 19 games to go this is definitely doable for us. We enjoy and relish the challenge. We can do this."
Royals' boss McDermott has criticised officials on a number of occasions this season and Allardyce sympathised with his counterpart.
"I hear McDermott complain bitterly about some of the decisions he's had to suffer on a considerable amount of game," he said.
"I don't know if he's right but I've certainly suffered that myself in previous years in the Premier League.
"They do make an awful lot of difference, they don't even themselves out over the year and they can get managers the sack, especially when they happen at the wrong time on a consistent basis.
"It's not the only reason but it contributes - critical decisions against you end with you getting no points. We should always bear that in mind."
West Ham have been struck by a number of injuries in recent weeks but welcomed midfield duo Jack Collison and Alou Diarra back into the first-team squad for the Everton game.
Ricardo Vaz Te has also returned to training with Andy Carroll likely to join him in the next week although on-loan Chelsea midfielder Yossi Benayoun is expected to return to his parent club over the next few days after having his second spell at Upton Park disrupted by injury.