Huddersfield Town should be extra wary of Matej Vydra.
That’s the warning from Reading boss Brian McDermott ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup third-round meeting at the John Smith’s Stadium.
The 23-year-old international from the Czech Republic has struggled for goals since his season-long loan switch from Watford, which reportedly cost Reading £2.5m, with only two in 17 games.
And he has never netted in the FA Cup.
But McDermott, a former Town loan player in the Eighties, believes the man who helped fire Watford to the Premier League with 16 goals last season and provided the assist for Nick Blackman’s last-gasp Championship winner against Bristol City on Saturday will come good this time around.
“He’s putting himself on the line, and that’s the important thing,” said the team chief who is in his second spell at the Madejski Stadium and twice led the club to the FA Cup quarter-finals during his first stint.
“We had Shane Long here and he went through a spell when he first got into the team when he constantly put himself on the line to score goals – but I think he went 15 or 16 games without getting one.
“There was never any chance of me leaving him out though. Yes he was missing chances but what he was doing for the team was phenomenal.
“He laughs about that period now. The amount of goals he went on to get for us and the amount of assists, he was just such an important player.
“Now I’m not making comparisons about Shane and Matej – I’m making comparisons about their mentality and what is required.”
While Vydra missed chances against Bristol City, McDermott said he was “delighted” with the former West Bromwich Albion loan player’s display.
He added: “I had a chat with Matej at half-time. He was a bit down but I said listen, I’m not down – you just keep doing what you’re doing. Keep putting yourself on the line. And that’s what he did. He never hid.”