McDermott expects Arsenal revival

Team news for Monday night’s Scottish Cup clash between

Cowdenbeath and St Johnstone at Central Park.

St Johnstone have four players back from suspension.

Defenders Steven Anderson, Frazer Wright and Dave Mackay come

back alongside Chris Millar.

On-loan Aberdeen winger Peter Pawlett will drop out though to

prevent him being cup-tied.

The Gunners head to the Madejski Stadium on Monday reeling from

their Capital One Cup quarter-final defeat by League Two Bradford,

a moment that has been described as the lowest point of Arsene

Wenger’s 16-year reign.

It has been a difficult season for Wenger, who now finds himself

in the unprecedented position of being the third favourite to

become the next Premier League manager to lose his job.

But McDermott, who leads the sack race at 7/4, believes Arsenal

remain in safe hands with the Frenchman in charge.

“Arsene has been there for a long time and it is a stable club.

I don’t look at a situation in football as being a crisis,” he

said.

“Arsenal are a massive club and well run financially. They are a

terrific institution. I can’t see them being in crisis.

“They generally come good at the back end of the season. They

always make the Champions League and I wouldn’t back against them

finishing in the top four.

“Arsene himself is always being asked why they haven’t won a

trophy for seven years.

“I am sure he is fed up with it and I understand the fans’

frustrations. But Arsene will want to win trophies more than

anyone.”

Victory on Monday is essential for both teams with Reading

seeking to begin their climb out of the relegation zone following

five successive defeats.

Four of those were on the road, however, and with three of the

next four being staged at home, McDermott knows his team are

entering a critical period.

“At one point last season we had five defeats and we’re

determined to turn it around,” he said.

“We want to get out on the pitch and perform again. We just need

a result for it to change.

“We’re playing at home which is massively important for us. We

have home games coming up which is important because the Madejski

will be integral to where we end up.”

Reading are desperate to atone for their worst defeat of the

season yet, a 3-0 loss at Sunderland last Tuesday that has cranked

up the pressure on McDermott.

“There’s no doubt we were short the other night, but before that

we have been so close to getting over the line,” McDermott

said.

“I had a text from someone who said, ‘You’ve had no luck

whatsoever’, so that’s got to change. We’ll just keep doing what

we’re doing.

“But the only thing anyone is interested in is results, and I

know that.”