Third played fourth last night and the Royals gave a great fight against Huddersfield, but were defeated 1-0 late on to make it a long journey back to Berkshire.
Ali Al-Habsi saved a first half penalty, and Reading had some good chances, but were left to rue those missed opportunities. Philip Biling scored an 82nd minute winner for Huddersfield to sit comfortable in third, for now.
Jaap Stam told the Official Club website after the game:
"We played well, and we had very good spells in both the first and second halves. In the first half especially we created a couple of very good chances - but the ball didn't go in and we didn't have the luck.
"In these games, the difference between teams is not very big, you know it's going to be tight. They have got a quality team as well with quality players, so when you get chances you need to score one and then try to defend well and not give anything away.
"And we didn't give a lot away. In the first half they had a penalty and Ali made a great save and they had a couple of shots at Ali in situations around the box, but in the second half their only real chance was the one which they scored.
"In the first 15 or 20 minutes they pressed us high and didn't want to let us play. It was hard for us to play out from the back. But after that Huddersfield found it hard to keep on pressing every time and we created the space and the free man in midfield to go forward. And then you get the chances."
Stam felt that the Royals should have had a penalty, after Lewis Grabban was fouled after a Danny Williams pass found him, but referee Tony Harrington waved away despite huge appeals from the Royals. He added:
"Sometimes you can tell if it's a penalty by looking at the reaction of the opposition - because a player knows when they have got a touch on somebody and taken them down... the first thing they do is stand up and hold their hands up to say they didn't do anything.
"And it was very obvious that he did something. He came towards the ball and dived in and made the touch, but the referee hasn't given it. That's the choice that he makes and it's frustrating.
"But you have to look at your own performance - and we worked very hard, at times we played very well, and we stayed patient going forward and in creating chances. So it's a pity that we don't have at least a point in these games.
"So compliments to the boys in what they have done and in how played. But of course, you want to have results and sometimes it's better to have a result and not play well!
"Everybody wants to win and everybody is working very hard not to concede goals and not give a lot away. But we will keep believing in what we have been doing. We did that today and we did it well.
"And we're going to be doing it on Saturday at Brighton and in the next couple of games as well. And hopefully the result is going to be a bit more positive."
The Royals face Brighton at the AMEX Saturday evening in front of a sell out away crowd.
COME ON URZ!