Brentford are impressing and have a top two position in their sights after a superb restart to the season. But Royals boss Mark Bowen is urging his side to take the game to the visitors to Madejski Stadium this evening.
“We’ve had two games back now and, in my opinion, we’ve been the best team in both games," he said. "But we’ve earned just one point.
"We went to Derby last weekend and totally dominated. We had three or four really good chances to go 1-0 up in the first half, but instead we switched off just before half-time and conceded two goals to give ourselves a mountain to climb.
"Overall, we fully deserved to get something out of the game…again. But we switched off and came away with nothing.
“That is not what we want. We need wins and points. But I couldn't question my players’ application and the performance level on Saturday.
"We’ve got to realise we’re a good side. And until it is mathematically impossible, we’ll keep pushing on, striving to win games and earn points for this football club.
The Bees signed off before lockdown with a 5-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday and have picked up where they left off, earning vital wins over fellow promotion hopefuls Fulham and West Bromwich Albion.
"If your organisation isn’t good and you fall onto the back foot, Brentford will exploit the gaps you leave, so we’ve really got to be positive and forward-thinking in everything we do.
"If we approach this evening’s game by getting onto the front foot, using our quality to take the game to them, then there’s no reason why we can’t get a result.
"We know it's going to be a tough game against Brentford. But, if we can approach this game in the right way - we were probably a bit too passive in the first half at Derby, so we need to be more aggressive in our forward play - then let's see where we find ourselves after the final whistle tonight.
"We're playing a side who are really dangerous team. We'll have a look at how the players recover after Derby - Ovie and Michael came off with cramp at the weekend and obviously we are without Matt Miazga who is suspended after the incident at the end of the game. So I wouldn't rule out freshening things up a little."