Reading suffered a fourth successive defeat in the Championship losing 1-0 to Millwall at The Den.

Royal's Veljko Paunovic watched on from home after testing positive for Covid-19 but he still managed to give his verdict on the game via a post-match Zoom press conference.

Paunovic was left to rue a competitive first-half performance in which his side couldn't break the deadlock.

The Reading boss said: "In the first half we were fantastic. Maybe in the first 10 to 15 minutes we didn't have a good start but then we got on the ball, then we changed our system and shape.

"The players needed to figure out the system but when they did we controlled the game perfectly.

"We created very good opportunities. But we missed them and I think we didn't have urgency to score.

"We built up momentum in the first half and played very good football, everyone was engaged and comfortable on the ball.

"Bringing it into the final third was a bit more difficult but when we were successful we missed the final product, once again."

However, it was the second half that was the undoing as Paunovic admitted his side are going through a "very difficult period".

Tyrell Ashcroft, who made his Championship debut, impressed Paunovic and was one positive he took from the game.

He continued: "In the second half, they switched their system. But it wasn't about systems tonight, we ran out of tank and unfortunately we couldn't do more in the final 15 minutes.

"I have to be very thankful to the team, the players, the staff that worked in very difficult circumstances and they gave it all, same as the guys who came off the bench.

"Ashcroft had a fantastic game and together with the first half performance he is the biggest positive take we had from this game.

"We can't say we didn't have opportunities to score or didn't try, everyone was very engaged but unfortunately we didn't get the result.

"We are going through a very difficult period but we have to keep everyone engaged and encourage them to keep fighting moving forward.

"We played some good football but it's not enough.

"We need to improve and change those second halves when we can't control the game.

"It has been our issue the whole season but I would contribute that to injuries because it's the same guys playing so many games.

"We just pile more fatigue and in our case, more injuries."

Danny Drinkwater and Andy Yiadom were absent from proceedings with the manager revealing Yiadom had to isolate for Covid-19 reasons.

Paunovic said: "Drinkwater had a soft tissue issue which he couldn't recover from but hopefully, we can have him back for Saturday.

"It's not a significant injury but it's something we have to monitor on a daily basis.

"Yiadom had to isolate due to Covid situation."