Reading boss Brian McDermott looks to copy Norwich City’s recipe for success
Reading boss Brian McDermott has already pledged his Championship winners will use Norwich and Swansea as an inspirational role model.
The Royals' chief succeeded Brendan Rodgers at the Madejski Stadium and despite losing out to the Swans in last season's Wembley play-off final guided Reading back to the big time.
McDermott was also forced to sell the likes of Shane Long and Matt Mills following play-off heartbreak, but the 53-year-old insists his club can emulate the achievements of the duo they will meet next season.
'I look as what Swansea and Norwich have done, keeping that core group together, and I'm going to do the same,' he said.
'We'll obviously sign a few players because that's how it works in football, but they'll have the same values of the group because the group is everything to us.
'We've got a new owner coming in and he's said I can keep my players and that's all I've ever wanted to hear. We're going to play them in the Premier League and bring in three or four people just to strengthen the group.'
McDermott's policy gets the backing of former Manchester United and England defender and now respected Skysports pundit Gary Neville who has labelled Norwich and Swansea as the 'unexpected success stories' of the season.
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'When I've watched clubs such as Norwich and Swansea this season, I've enjoyed myself more than I could imagine,' he said, writing in his regular Daily Mail column over the weekend. 'What strikes you about those clubs is that they are connected to their local communities, they have a plan that is sustainable and they know where they're going. They have achieved their success this season with the core of the squad that got them promoted. How can that be? Surely players such as Grant Holt – until this season a journeyman in the lower leagues – and Leon Britton – released by West Ham as he was deemed not good enough and spending his life in the lower leagues – cannot be good enough for the Premier League?
Or John Ruddy, a player who has been on loan at Motherwell, Crewe, Stockport and Bristol City and is now watched by England scouts? But they and other players have proved an important point.
You're not telling me there aren't another six or seven like Holt or Britton out there. Sometimes clubs just aren't looking in the right places.'
Neville believes the philosophy adopted by both Norwich and Swansea contrasts sharply with the financially-driven impetus at QPR under Malaysian businessman Tony Fernandes.
'With good coaching, proper motivation and the right club structure with organic growth, you can achieve an awful lot in football,' he said.
'On the other hand, take QPR, who came up as champions, well clear of Norwich and Swansea. Instead of sticking to the core of their promoted squad and making one or two smart additions, they decided to splash out and buy big.
'There are lots of concerns facing English football but for me the major one is the way in which football clubs are run by owners, whether they are growing organically and sustainably and how that is being policed by the football authorities.
'Alongside that, you could add whether clubs are retaining a link to their communities. That link is more essential for football than ever in a time of economic depression, when those communities are under pressure. I just hope Reading know that and take lessons from Norwich and Swansea, rather than QPR.'