LONDON: Manager Brian McDermott celebrated his “best moment in football” after Reading secured promotion back to the Premier League with a 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest.
A Mikele Leigertwood goal 10 minutes from time earned Reading a return ticket four years after they were relegated following their first-ever stint among the elite.
There was still time after Leigertwood’s goal for Forest substitute Marcus Tudgay to see a possible equaliser cleared from the goal line by Reading defender Alex Pearce, but they hung on for a win which, combined with West Ham’s draw at Bristol City, ensures them a top-two finish.
They sit three points clear of Southampton with two games left to play in the title race.
The final whistle sparked a mass pitch invasion by excited home fans and then an appearance in the directors’ box by the Reading players. Concolation for Forest was that, despite their defeat, they are guaranteed survival in the Championship [second division] thanks to results elsewhere.
McDermott said: “This is my best moment in football. My worst was on the pitch at Wembley on May 30 [last year's play-off final defeat to Swansea]. We are in the Premier League now and I can celebrate for the next two months. I need to get away for a while in the summer and have a break.
“These were the most important three points we have got this season because it has seen us over the line. I don’t know how I am supposed to be. I had the worst summer last season after losing the play off final against Swansea but this will be a good summer. I thought we were a bit nervous tonight and we weren’t as fluid as we can be.
# # # #