John Swift admitted his frustration at not securing all three points against Fulham on Saturday afternoon, but he said there is cause for optimism for the Royals going forward.
After having Tomas Kalas sent off in the very first minute for a last-ditch foul on Mo Barrow, Fulham were resolute in defence until Liam Kelly's strike on the hour mark put Royals in front.
Former on-loan Royal Lucas Piazon then burst through on goal eight minutes from time, slotting home calmly to give the visitors an unlikely point at Madejski Stadium.
Reflecting on the match as a whole, Swift said: "It was a bit disappointing the way it ended but I think we started really well, we started on top of them. I think Joseph (Mendes) and Mo (Barrow) did really well putting pressure on the centre-back.
"After that it was all up to us, eventually we got the first goal but it's disappointing to concede.
"Either way we were going to play the same, even if they've got 11 players they know we're going to try and play through the thirds.
"It helped us a lot because it means we get more of the ball and they get tired. Our goal came at the right time, it was a good time to get it because they had worked hard from the first two or three minutes of the first half.
"We'd done well and we had control. Overall, obviously we should have won the game but I think we played really well."
Royals had several other chances to add to their tally in the match, with Swift being denied only by a superb flying save by David Button to stop his shot going into the top corner with the score at 0-0.
With another stern test in Aston Villa awaiting Royals on Tuesday night at Madejski Stadium, Swift is well aware of the challenges that lie ahead in the Championship this season.
"Every game is going to be tough," he added. "To go into Villa off of a good performance will give us confidence but we know it's not going to be as easy to have the ball and to keep the ball as it was today.
"When you go down to 10 men there's nothing the opposition can do, you wait for a counter. I think we prevented that for the majority of the game but it was obviously unlucky to come out with a 1-1."
The next league fixture for the Royals will be again at home as we take on Aston Villa on Tuesday night 8pm kick-off! Get your tickets below!