Jón Daði Böðvarsson says the Royals have to recover quickly, after a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Sheffield United on Saturday.
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Kieron Freeman opened the scoring for the Blades inside the first minute at Bramall Lane, before Gary Madine's brace put the hosts 3-0 up at half time.
Böðvarsson was brought on for the start of the second half as Reading moved to a more attacking 4-4-2 formation, but John Fleck's heavily-deflected long-range effort wrong-footed Emi Martínez and gave the automatic promotion chasers a comfortable victory in South Yorkshire.
Saturday's loss ended a four-game unbeaten run for the Royals, with Iceland international striker Böðvarsson offering a frank assessment of proceedings on the day.
"It was poor from the first minute until the end really," he said. "It was just one of those games where nothing happens and it's just not going our way.
"Sheffield United really punished us for the majority of the game, so it's very frustrating - especially after the win in midweek, we wanted to keep the momentum going.
"It is what it is, we just have to forget this one, dust it off and keep going.
"When it's three goals, if we nick one it's more of a lifeline but the fourth goal really killed it, but nonetheless I think we could have shown a bit more character.
"When you're three or four-nil down it's a matter of principles. As players, we need to realise you're playing for something bigger than yourselves, we have to get that in our heads and keep on going."
Reading will now have a week on the training pitches at Hogwood to get themselves ready for a home match against Rotherham United that boss, José Gomes described as the 'match of the season.'
Despite defeat at the weekend, Böðvarsson says the signs of improvement are there for all to see, with the Royals climbing out of the bottom three in midweek.
"I think the gaffer and his assistants are brilliant, I think they're doing a fantastic job and he's bringing his philosophy around the club in how we want to play really quickly.
"It's very impressive considering how little time he's had, I think everyone is really on board with him and we have to perform for him, the fans and the club in general.
"We have 13 games left, and they're 13 finals really. We have to do everything in our power to get results, dust ourselves back down from this loss and we have to keep going."