27th June 2018, 17:15 | Leeds
The reigning champions have lost their last six matches, with their latest defeat to Catalans Dragons at Headingley leaving them in danger of another scrap for survival in the Qualifiers.
But although McDermott has had to cope with another injury crisis this year, he insisted it does not compare with his side’s wretched title defence in 2016.
“I’ve been saying for a few weeks: we’re in good shape,” the head coach said. “It’s going to come good, I know it is. I couldn’t tell you that a couple of years ago.
“I can’t describe to you how good a head space the players are in. They’re really keen for it and up for a fight. It’s a pleasure to be amongst them.
“In terms of what it’s going to look like in another two years, there’s some great foundations being put in place. There are some really strong lessons being taught to each other at the moment.
“A couple more bodies back and a few more competition for places and who knows?”
The Rhinos have not won in the league since beating Hull KR at the end of April and McDermott admitted he is desperate to register a victory as he prepares his team for Thursday’s trip to Wigan Warriors.
“Two points is going to do us good right now, I don’t care where it is – we need a win,” said McDermott, who welcomes back Ryan Hall, Richie Myler and Brad Singleton.
“Whether it’s at Wigan or Timbuktu, let’s get two points. It’d reaffirm some of the good stuff we’ve got going on within the team.
“In all the losses we’ve had recently there have been purple patches.
“Trying to convince players this is good and these are good passages of play is harder to do when you keep coming up with a loss. So just getting the win is the most important thing, regardless of where it is.”
Wigan head coach Shaun Wane is not fooled by Leeds’ form ahead of his team’s return to the DW Stadium following seven games on the road.
“You look at their defeats and they’re not that far off,” said Wane, whose side are second despite losing three of their last four games.
“Against Catalans in the first half they had a real dig and it could have gone either way. Catalans are flying at the minute and very confident, but some teams would have gone and Leeds could have won that game.
“So I’m not falling into that trap that Leeds are gone. Leeds on their day can turn up and I think they’re going to get a few players back this week so we just need to make sure we’re ready for it and they see the best of us.”
Wane is excited to see new signing Joe Greenwood in Wigan colours for the first time.
“He’s been fantastic in training and is ready, pumped and fit,” he said. “Unless something drastic happens over the next few days, he’ll be in.”