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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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Wenger: McDermott is a miracle worker

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger may give some of his fringe players a chance at Reading

Arsene Wenger has praised Reading for gaining promotion to the Premier League, labelling Brian McDermott's time in charge as a 'miracle'.

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Wenger believes McDermott did an exceptional job to help Reading claim the Championship title last season and he has no doubts that they will remain in the top flight of English football.

Although they are yet to win in the league, Reading will play Arsenal for a quarter-final berth in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday.

"Reading have made appointments from within the club well over the years,'' Wenger told Arsenal Media. "You have to congratulate Brian McDermott for promotion last year, I believe he made a miracle basically.

"When you get to the Premier League, the level of expectation is to stay and I feel they have a chance. McDermott has the qualities to achieve that. We expect a challenge and we know Reading will give absolutely everything when they play against us.

"Reading have done very well in their scouting. They are one of the examples of a club not spending money and living within their resources. I always respect that. There is some quality work behind their success.''

Two important fixtures against Manchester United and Schalke over the next week are likely to force Wenger into fielding a number of young players for the cup match.

"Some players need a breather because they had two international games, Champions League and Premier League games,'' he said. "They will have played five games in two weeks. Some will be rested tomorrow. After that I will see after tomorrow night.We will still have an experienced side out with players from the squad."

"We will go to Reading with a good team who will have a good chance to win the game. We fight as hard as we can to stay in all the competitions and if you have to make a choice you make it as late as possible. The Capital One Cup is in a period where you have to make a decision sometimes as it is a time when we also have the League and the Champions League.''

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