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Kebe earns McDermott praise

Reading manager Brian McDermott heaped praise on Jimmy Kebe after the winger netted twice to secure a valuable 2-1 win over Sunderland.

A left-footed strike inside the area and a second-half header ensured the struggling side claimed three vital points in their battle against relegation.

McDermott was quick to praise Kebe’s aerial ability, after the Reading wide man beat several Sunderland defenders to head home Ian Harte’s free kick for the 85th-minute winner.

“He wins headers, he’s good in the air,” McDermott told reporters after the game.

“It was a great finish today, Jimmy’s had to finish that off, and so late in the game, it’s difficult to come back from that.”

McDermott also insisted that confidence is high in the dressing room, with the atmosphere around the club positive after their excellent recent form.

Reading have won three of their past four games, coming from behind to win all three, with another second-half comeback overturning a two-goal deficit to draw 2-2 with Chelsea in midweek.

“It’s not just a happy place for 11 people, or 18 people are concerned, it’s a happy place for 30 people. All the staff, all the players – everybody,” he added.

Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill said he was ‘bitterly disappointed’ to lose the game, believing his team worthy of at least a point.

“To concede so late in the game, I’m just really disappointed,” he told reporters.

“I felt we are in reasonable form, so we have come in with a bit of confidence.

“But that said they started better in the match and eventually – although they scored early – when we have got back in the game we looked reasonably strong and I thought we had enough chances in the game, before they scored, to change the outcome.”

Sat 2 February, 2013
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