McDermott’s desire to get back fuelled by axe

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BRIAN McDERMOTT has revealed how being sacked by Reading has made him even hungrier to succeed with Leeds United.

The 52-year-old boasts a 100 per cent record in charge at Elland Road after steering the club to wins over Sheffield Wednesday and Burnley.

McDermott’s impact has helped transform the mood of supporters, who are hoping he can lead a full-on promotion assault next season.

The man himself has spoken of how his sacking by Reading last month will be fuelling that push for the Premier League.

Asked if he felt what happened at the Madejski Stadium had made him a better manager, the Leeds chief said: “I don’t know. Time will tell whether I became a better manager. Obviously, what happened to me at Reading was difficult for me to take at the time with all things being equal and what happened there.

“We had a lot of success at Reading. Just reflecting on what happened in that period of time was difficult for me, but I am stronger for that, a lot stronger.

“Whether I am a better manager, time will tell. But I am definitely more hungry than I was before and I’ve got a real drive for us to succeed.

“The players have, too, you can see that from what they have given me. We were 1-0 down against Sheffield Wednesday but the players came back.

“Then, with five minutes to go they were throwing bodies on the line against Burnley (in Tuesday’s 1-0 win).”

Today will be McDermott’s first away game with Leeds, who have a lamentable record on the road with their most recent league triumph coming way back on December 1 at Huddersfield Town.

United did, though, triumph at St Andrews in the FA Cup during January and McDermott insists there is no reason why Leeds should not have a better record away from their home ground.

He said: “There is nothing wrong with this team. I thought that when I first met them. They want to get better, we all want to get better, and this is never going to be about me.

“I don’t sense desperation. I sense anticipation. These fans deserve success, they absolutely do.”

United’s Sam Byram has been chosen to receive the Football League Young Player of the Month award for March.