Last season could not have gone much better, with a remarkable run over the second half of the campaign taking Reading to the Championship title. Additions were always going to be required. Proven Premier League performers have been drafted in and Brian McDermott has moved quickly to bolster his ranks. Consolidation will be the aim in 2012/13, but the exploits of Norwich and Swansea last term have offered hope to all promoted clubs.
Brian McDermott has worked minor miracles during his two-and-a-half years at the Royals helm. Cool, calm and collected, he is not one to rant and rave and his managerial philosophy is based more on respect and attention to detail. He will have Reading fully prepared for the task ahead, with his scouting roots having served him well. Having taken Reading this far by sticking to his footballing principles, do not expect McDermott to press the panic button if his side start slowly.
Playing non-league football five years ago, now, after developing into a goalscoring winger, he has the opportunity to prove he can mix it with the best in the business.
Played a leading role in Reading's promotion push, netting the goal which took the Royals back to the top flight, and will be expected to provide inspiration from the middle of the park.
An ever-present last term, providing a reliable last line of defence throughout the promotion push. The Australian shot-stopper helped the Royals to keep a division-high 20 clean sheets.
Strengths & weaknesses
As with Swansea and Norwich before them, Reading have shown that it is possible to win promotion by playing football. McDermott's side has its ball-winners, but the emphasis is on getting the ball on the deck. They have added to their pool of creative talent and will feel that they have potential match-winners out wide. One slight concern for McDermott may be travel sickness, with seven of the Royals' 11 league defeats last season coming on the road. They also have a habit of starting slowly, which they need to shake.
What they say
Anton Zingarevich - "We have added quality to our squad, we already had a good group, but we have added a little extra to strengthen it.
I really like what Reading did last year. They have no real stars, but a great work ethic, good organisation and they will be difficult to beat. If they survive, it will be by the skin of their teeth.