Reading caretaker Eamonn Dolan unsure of future beyond Manchester United

Brian McDermott was sacked this week

Caretaker manager Eamonn Dolan is unsure whether he will remain in charge of Reading beyond this weekend's trip to Manchester United.

Dolan, formerly the head of the Royals' academy, was handed the temporary reins after Brian McDermott was sacked on Monday.

McDermott's three-year tenure was ended, along with his assistant Nigel Gibbs, by Reading owner Anton Zingarevich following a four-game losing run that has left the club above last-placed QPR on goals scored only.

With nine games remaining there is little time to find a replacement, with former Southampton boss Nigel Adkins and ex-Swindon manager Paolo Di Canio installed as the early favourites to take over.

Dolan fronted the media for the first time today and, as well as refusing to be drawn on who might be tasked with leading the club's relegation fight, he also said he did not know if a new appointment was likely to be made before the next trip to Arsenal on March 30.

"It's been a difficult week for everybody," he said.

"The players were on the floor at the start of the week.

"The owner has asked me to take the team on Saturday. That's my only thought. That's the honest answer."

Dolan denied Zingarevich would play a part in picking the team for this weekend's trip to Old Trafford - albeit after a long pause - adding: "Obviously not. He's asked me to pick the team.

"He's talked to me about the team and trying to get a result - genuinely that is all he has said.

"I'm excited about going to Old Trafford. Really excited about that."

Dolan has been in regular contact with McDermott since he was axed and revealed the former boss had a simple message for the squad ahead of the trip to Old Trafford.

"Brian is a great friend of mine. I've spoken to him each day," he said.

"He's a great man. All he has said is: 'Good luck, get a result'.

"All he wants is for Reading to get a result."

Zingarevich spent yesterday morning at the club's Hogwood Park training ground working with director of football Nick Hammond on the recruitment process.

Following this weekend's match the Russian owner will have the grace of an international week to further develop a managerial search he hopes will help avert an immediate return to the npower Championship.

Di Canio has expressed his desire to manage at the highest level since his acrimonious departure from Swindon last month while Adkins was unlucky to lose his job at Southampton earlier this season after leading them back to the top flight.

Chelsea's Champions League winning manager Roberto Di Matteo has also been mentioned as a possible target.

The Italian has been out of work since his unexpected axing at Stamford Bridge in November.

Dolan's only first-team managerial experience was during a brief stint at Exeter, when they were outside the Football League, a decade ago.

The 45-year-old is set make his return against Premier League's champions-in-waiting and, while he admitted his admiration for Sir Alex Ferguson, said he would not be overawed.

"They're the best football club in the world and the best manager of all time," he said.

"But I won't be thinking about that tomorrow.

"We need to get a result. I think Reading Football Club deserves to be in the Premier League."

Asked if he would be able to pick his players up following McDermott's exit, he added: "This group are a great group of players. I've trained them in the past few days.

"You are not going to get a better group.

"They are just great people. They respected Brian. It has been a natural human emotion that they were disappointed after he left.

"We need to get a result."

PA

News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Roffey says: 'All of us carry shame and taboo around about our sexuality. But I was determined not to let shame stop me writing my memoir.'
books
News
Danielle George is both science professor and presenter
people
News
i100
News
Caplan says of Jacobs: 'She is a very collaborative director, and gives actors a lot of freedom. She makes things happen.'
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015