Reading’s 1-0 victory over Nottingham Forest last night means they will return to the Premier League for the first time in four years, and they are well worth getting behind at 6/5 to avoid relegation next term.
Under Brian McDermott, there has been little for Royals fans to complain about, with a narrow playoff final defeat last year followed up by automatic promotion in this, his second full season in charge at the Madejski Stadium.
His youthful approach looks set to stand him in good stead in the Premier League, and the examples set by teams like Swansea and Norwich will give McDermott confidence heading into the top-flight.
The fact that these outfits are under the stewardship of impressive young bosses Paul Lambert and Brendan Rodgers, who are in a similar mould to McDermott, should too be encouraging to the former Reading youth coach, whose side look mispriced at 8/13 to be relegated.
He will also have a big incentive to achieve what would be an incredible feat in trumping Reading’s previous best Premier League finish, which was an eighth place position at the end of the 2006/2007 season, their maiden top flight campaign in its current format.
The Royals are 11/2 shots to finish in the top half of the Premier League next season, whilst those who fancy McDermott to go one better by achieving European qualification via their league standing, can back his men to achieve a top six finish at 66/1.
Whilst such a lofty position hasn’t been achieved by a newly-promoted side since Ipswich’s march to fifth place in 2000, Reading’s late season form of 20 wins from their last 24 games, is a tremendous platform for them to kick off a bid to qualify for Europe by any means at 14/1.
Meanwhile, even the most ardent McDermott supporters are likely to avoid the 300/1 odds on Reading making the top four, whilst supporters who take on the 3500/1 odds for the Royals to win the Premier League next year will surely do so only for comedic value.