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Reading fires manager Brian McDermott with Premier League team battling against relegation

Reading has fired manager Brian McDermott in an attempt to keep the team in the Premier League.

Reading (5-16-8) is next-to-last in the 20-team league with nine games left, four points from escaping the relegation zone and ahead of last-place Queens Park Rangers on total goals.

"In our current situation, owner Anton Zingarevich felt that a change was necessary," Reading said in a statement Monday.

The 51-year-old McDermott had been in charge since 2009 and took the team into the top division for only the second time in its 142-year history.

Reading's next two games are against first-place Manchester United (23-3-2) and fifth-place Arsenal (13-7-8).