Having secured promotion to the Premiership, last week, Reading rounded off a superb season by securing the Championship title, with a draw at home to Crystal Palace.
With one game remaining, The Royals are now nine points clear of their nearest rivals, Southampton, who slipped to defeat away at Middlesborough. After narrowly missing promotion through the play-offs, last year, manager, Brian McDermott, said that this year’s success was “meant to be”.
After a slow start to the season, following their play-off final defeat to Swansea, last May, Reading have gone on to win 15 of their last 18 matches, and have climbed from 16th in the Championship, in early November, to its summit, some six months later. The side’s progress will have delighted those who placed a football bet with Youwin.com.
One of the main catalysts in Reading’s improvement was the acquisition of veteran forward, Jason Roberts, in January. Roberts, who signed from Blackburn, netted six times in 15 games, and he is relishing the prospect of playing top-flight football again. “I’m 34 years old, and may never get an opportunity like this again, so it’s an absolute pleasure”, he said.
Reading return to the Premiership after a four-year absence, having been relegated from the top flight in 2008. McDermott is already looking forward to next season. “It’s an exciting time and a great night for the club”, said the 51-year-old, who has been in charge at the Madejski stadium since December 2009.
Reading chairman, John Madejski, was full of praise for McDermott, following his side’s promotion. He said: “Brian has been here for 12 years, and he knows the squad inside out. He’s a first-class gentleman and a first-class pro. He’s honed the team in the right way and that’s why we are where we are today.”
At the other end of the table, Coventry City and Portsmouth joined Doncaster in being relegated to League One.