Royals boss Brian McDermott admitted his team fell short as they went down to a 3-0 defeat away to Sunderland this Tuesday evening.
A very early goal from James McClean gave Sunderland a real boost, allowing their crowd to get behind their team, a blow from which we were unable to recover.
Brian said, "It was a tough evening and we came up short.
"Giving away an early goal gave them a lift. We said we needed to keep it solid early on but the goal gave the crowd a lift, the whole place. Then 2-0 it's a mountain to climb. It was a great finish from Fletcher, that's why they paid their money for him. When you see him on the teamsheet you know he's a threat.
"In the first half we played some decent enough football, created chances but didn't make the goalkeeper work. At the end we had a couple of chances too. But we have to be more solid, and better in offensive areas.
"Listen, this club and where we've come from over the last three years, we're in a far healthier place and it's important to know that. We've had a run of games, four out of five away from home, which is never easy, especially in this division.
"But I'm disappointed with the results, I'm used to winning games. At the moment we're not winning and we're in the results business. The boys are giving me everything though, I can't ask more from them and they had a real go for me. At the moment we've come up short but we have to stick together and drag ourselves out of it."
The Royals were forced into three changes with Jason Roberts, Hal Robson-Kanu and Sean Morrison all sidelined, while Adrian Mariappa was forced to pay through the pain barrier. Brian said, "We're struggling a wee bit with players out, we've had a shocking run with that. We need those players back and when we do we'll be competing in this league.
"Jason Roberts pulled out yesterday, Kanu, the list goes on. Mapps was playing with an injury, Morrison is out, there's a long list and we had three pull out yesterday. We've had long term injuries, it's not helpful but I can't hide behind it, it happens in football."
The Royals had 227 hardy fans in the upper tier at the Stadium of Light, and Brian wanted to give them more for a 600-mile round trip. "That's what guts me more than anything. We just want to go over there to our fans having won. The last thing we want to do is let them down and go to clap them having lost. Now we have a choice, we must stick together and dig ourselves out of the situation. We need our fans, I'm sure some of the fans are disillusioned with results and I understand that.
"It's a struggle right now, we know where we are and we are pulling in the same direction. I'm completely confident in the group and the spirit of the group. You really find out about people which is good to know and I'm relishing it. We have to look ahead, move on to Arsenal on Monday."
from the game are on Reading FC Player now, as well as Brian's post-match video reaction