Reading looking to add more faces in January

Brian McDermott insists Reading are looking to bolster their squad even further in the transfer window. Photo: PA

Brian McDermott insists Reading's recruitment drive is far from over despite the arrival of three new faces at the Madejski Stadium this month.

McDermott moved quickly to boost his ranks when the window opened at the start of the month, landing Hope Akpan from Crawley and Daniel Carrico from Sporting Lisbon.

The Royals boss then further shored up his leaky defence with the capture of right-back Stephen Kelly, who signed a two-and-a-half year deal with the club on Monday.

Yet with his team still three points from safety, McDermott admits he is still searching for yet more players before the window shuts in two weeks' time.

McDermott has been heavily linked with Celta Vigo forward Iago Aspas, and the Royals boss admits there is still a possibility that he will enter the market again this month.

"We have signed three, but we are still in the process of looking," McDermott told a press conference.

"There are a lot of complications trying to sign a player as everyone knows, but if something comes our way, we have the finances and he wants to play here then we will do something. There is no doubt about that."

Although Reading remain second from bottom of the Barclays Premier League, McDermott insists morale is high within the camp.

Part of that high can be explained by Saturday's stunning comeback against West Brom, who were 2-0 up with eight minutes to go before McDermott's men snatched all three points with three late goals.

Reading have now won three of their last four matches in all competitions, making McDermott confident his team can come away from Newcastle with at least a point on Saturday.

The game will be McDermott's first visit to St James' Park during a career that spans 36 years.

"I have never been there - not as a manager, a player or scout, so I am looking forward to it," the 51-year-old said.

"I think we can go anywhere and put on a performance. If we put on the kind of performance we have to, we can get a result and that is what we need."

McDermott expressed his delight today at the capture of Kelly, who had fallen out of favour at Fulham over the last six months.

The Republic of Ireland defender is likely to be thrown straight in to McDermott's starting XI tomorrow.

Caricco, a £600,000 signing from Sporting, looks set to keep his place in the team despite a disappointing debut at the Madejski last week, where he was substituted at half-time.

"He is a good player. He just needs time," McDermott said.

"It was a tall order to go straight in to the side and play 45 minutes so soon. "He is an experienced player, he needs to build up his fitness, get to know the league and the team. I am sure he will be an excellent addition to the squad."

Midfielder Mikele Leigertwood is fit again after missing the win over West Brom, but striker Jason Roberts (hip) and goalkeeper Alex McCarthy (shoulder) remain sidelined.