Ferdinand escapes FA action

Reading owner Anton Zingarevich says the decision to sack Brian

McDermott was “the hardest of his life”.

McDermott was relieved of his duties after a run of four

straight Premier League defeats left the club off the bottom of the

table on goals scored only.

Coaches Nigel Gibbs and Yannis Anastasiou have also departed,

leaving Academy boss Eamonn Dolan in charge for this weekend’s trip

to Manchester United.

Dolan met the first-team squad on Tuesday along with

Zingarevich, who completed his takeover of Reading just weeks after

McDermott had masterminded promotion from the Championship.

And a statement on the Reading website read: “Anton told the

players it was the hardest decision of his life, thanking all of

the staff for their contribution.

“He and Brian remain on good terms after meeting in person on

Monday.

“Eamonn held a series of meetings throughout the day in

preparation for Manchester United, and he is scheduled to speak to

the media later this week in the build-up to the game.”

Paolo Di Canio, who left Swindon last month, is the current

favourite with Sky Bet to replace McDermott at the Madejski.

Ferdinand appeared to trip the striker before pushing him in the

back during the closing stages of the clash at Old Trafford.

But having reviewed video footage of the incident, the Football

Association has decided not to take the matter further.

United let a two-goal lead slip as second-half goals from Eden

Hazard and Ramires earned Chelsea a replay at Stamford Bridge.

The confirmation means Ferdinand will be free to play in the

quarter-final replay after the teams drew 2-2 at Old Trafford on

Sunday.

Goals from Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney inside the first 11

minutes put United apparently on the brink of a semi-final

berth.

But the Blues hit back in the second half and Eden Hazard halved

the deficit just before the hour, with Ramires levelling in the

68th minute.

The winners will face Manchester City in the last four but a

suitable date to hold the replay has yet to be settled on.