Reading FC manager Veljko Paunovic remained confident in his ability to lead the Royals this season after Saturday's embarrassing 2-1 defeat to Kidderminster Harriers.

George Puscas fired Reading in front on the stroke of half time, but the National League North side came roaring back in the second period, scoring twice in the final 20 minutes to dump Paunovic's side out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle.

Asked whether he would still be in charge for Tuesday night's clash with Fulham, Paunovic gave a wry smile before saying: 

"This is football. Anything can happen. I’m always giving my best and then whatever happens happens. We are going to keep doing what we can to do the best we can.""I do believe. I believe in myself. You don’t know what I’m capable of. Things that we are dealing with are out of our control and as I said we focus on what we can control. Today we could have been better in the second half but if you play against an opponent and it’s not an easy task to play against an experienced team…it’s put more challenge to the game.

"I will turn this around and we will have a different conversation in a few months.

The Serbian manager made eight changes from the team that drew 2-2 with Derby County and a very youthful side folded under the pressure at Aggborough Stadium. Paunovic defended his choice to rest man of his senior stars, claiming that he has to prioritise the league.

"We need to think about the long term. We’re devastated with injuries, devastated with fitness levels of our players and we can’t risk. We already risked and lost Alen today and Felipe. That’s something we knew might happen in this kind of game. We must think about and prioritise what we’re doing and what is our approach.

"The FA Cup is a very lovely and interesting competition but we are not in that situation. Don’t think we can risk and push forward in this stage where we need to recover guys. We can’t afford to lose more players. The whole season has been like this. We know why we are in this situation and we are working to fix it as soon as we can recover people and finally complete the team. 

While Paunovic remained confident in his ability to lead this Reading side, he didn't promise any instant fixes, warning Royals fans about the challenges his side face in the coming month.

"I’m going to give you a heads up: January is going to be very difficult, very challenging for everyone. But if we are capable of not losing more people and recovering those who are close to getting back…today we had Drinkwater with the team, Andy Rinomhota, Femi who’s still catching up, Puscas who finally scored. Those were some of the positives."