Jaap Stam says the Royals have reacted well in training after the disappointment of a home defeat against Millwall last weekend - and now we need a response in what will be a tough trip to Middlesbrough this weekend.
Stam revealed the players were given time to recuperate and centre their focus after a mentally and physically challenging run of fixtures of late.
And the manager is confident that his squad have felt the benefit of recharging their batteries, with a renewed confidence and morale in the squad ahead of Saturday's game.
He said, “The players have reacted well. Of course, you can understand the disappointment that was there, but they had a little time away from the training pitch as they needed that to settle down after a period of games.
“And they reacted well. We spoke together about certain things and we have had a couple of very good training sessions already this week and hopefully that’s a positive thing for the game on Saturday.
“It’s always difficult to lose games because you want to go somewhere, win your own games and when it’s not working out, it’s a big disappointment. There is no hiding that.
“But you want to keep the mood in the camp positive, you want to keep players in a certain mood that they can still perform in the next game, and that’s what we’re trying to do. Hopefully we can do that on Saturday."
Experienced campaigner Tony Pulis has recently taken the reins at the Riverside Stadium, with his distinctive brand of football propelling his teams to a number of successes over the past decade.
Stam says Boro are versatile in how they play the game,and he knows they will be a tough proposition at the weekend, adding: “It’s a big club, everybody knows that they invested a lot of money at the beginning of the season to do well with the intention of hopefully getting back up to the Premier League.
“The quality within their squad is there, good players, they play in a certain way as well and they can make it difficult for every team.
“Other teams have had results over there though, so while it’s not going to be easy, we’ll be trying to do that too.
“They’ve got certain players with a certain physicality within their squad, especially at set pieces. They’ve also got a lot of ability playing good football, so they can mix it up basically in what they want to choose to do.
“Sometimes they are looking to play more direct, sometimes they’re looking to play out from the back, so they’ve got everything within their squad to do well.
“But we know that, we’re aware of that, and hopefully we can do well.”