I don’t think many fans were surprised with a 0-0 draw against fellow strugglers Hull City at the KCOM Stadium. Positives can be taken though - a point away from home and a clean sheet. Although they may only be small steps, after recent performances they are steps in the right direction.
The Royals now sit in 18th place, just five points above the relegation zone and Jaap Stam felt that the point was a very important one, he told the official club website:
“Football is about feeling. It’s about confidence in sport in general. If the feeling is not there, it’s difficult to get it back. If everything is going right, every ball the strikers hit flies in.
“When it’s not going well, you don’t get the opportunities or you don’t score the goals. But a good result and it can come back and it can change the whole thing.
“We know we have players who have quality and can keep clean sheets and score goals, but you need to get into the right positions and finish off the chances you get.
“So this is an important point.
“We wanted more. We could have been better on the ball and there was a lot of space to play which we didn’t always use. But we also knew we were facing a team with good players, and they tried to turn us around at the back and, in general, we coped with that quite well.
“And at the other end we wanted to create more, although in the second half we had two very good opportunities to score that one goal that would have won it.
“But sometimes you need to go back to basics, work very hard to keep that clean sheet, to get that one point and build from that. And that’s what we’ve done today.
“Today, hard work earned us on point which will hopefully allow us to move forward and look to get the three points next time.“
John Swift and Paul McShane both came off injured during the game, Stam told GetReading:
“They were looking very good so it was a shame we couldn’t make changes in the second half like bringing forwards on or midfielders to push forward.
“And Garath McCleary was tired too so we had to make that change and put Sone Aluko out wide and Leandro Bacuna in the middle.
“We save him (Swift) from full training sessions and he went to hospital too to look at everything and what might cause (the injuries) but they couldn’t find anything.
“He looked very good and very fit when he was in training but for some reason it happens.
“Is it because of travelling, being a long time on the coach, sitting still can be a possibility, but it’s difficult to pick out what’s wrong with his hamstrings.”
Next up for the Royals is Stevenage at the Madejski on Tuesday evening in the FA Cup third round replay before Brentford are the visitors next weekend.