Full back Nicky Shorey gave an open and honest assessment of the Southampton defeat ahead of an important match at Sunderland on Tuesday night.
The defender made no bones about a disappointing second half performance from the Royals – but says the effort and the attitude of the players and staff is second to none.
"It was very frustrating for everyone and it must have been frustrating for our fans to watch," he said. "In the first half we looked alright - we were promising. But we weren't at it in the second half.
"We were defending a lot and we couldn't get out of our own half. The quality up to the strikers wasn't great so it was a bit of a mixture of things.
"I know the position we're in at the moment is not great but I'm thoroughly enjoying working with this group of lads and the coaching staff. The one thing you can't fault from the group is the effort - and we'll see where it takes us.
"We've seen it in games - we're more than capable of doing well in this season. We've just got to start doing it for the full 90 minutes and take it into each game. It's not easy - but we need to stay together. We're a good, honest group of lads and we'll stay together and keep working.
"We've definitely got the basis here with our coaching staff working hard. I'm sure we can get it right but it's a ruthless division and we need to pick up points straight away."
Shorey sees a another game in quick succession as an advantage to the team as the Royals take on the Black Cats tomorrow night - and he knows that the excellent travelling supporters will once again back the boys.
"It's a plus point that we've got a game straight away and hopefully we can get some points and forget about Saturday,” he added.
"They were good again on Saturday and I wouldn't blame the fans for not being too happy with the second half. But they still support us well and I wouldn't expect anything less."