DOUBLE promotion-winner Brynjar Gunnarsson has told his former Reading FC team-mates not to panic after their faltering run in the Championship.

Royals have picked up only one win from their last six league outings despite starting as strong favourites against struggling Barnsley, Millwall and Sheffield Wednesday.

Nigel Adkins’ men also came under fire from frustrated fans after crashing 5-2 at Hillsborough in the Owls’ only Championship win to date.

They did bounce back by drawing 1–1 with title-favourites QPR in their next match, but it has left Reading hanging onto a play-off berth in sixth place and only four points above Ipswich Town in 12th, with

back-to-back trips to Blackburn Rovers and Nottingham Forest up next.

But if some sections of supporters are beginning to lose faith, Icelandic ace Gunnarsson is experienced enough to know there is no reason to panic.

“I always keep an eye on Reading’s results to see how they’re getting on,” said Gunnarsson, now enjoying his first, full-time coaching role with Stjarnan in Reykjavik.

“They’re in a good position at the moment and there is plenty of the season left. Who knows what will happen but they might end up having a very good season.

“New managers have different ideas and bring in different players so these things can take time. I suppose the core of last season’s team is still here so it’s easier to work with that than bring in a new starting 11.”

Gunnarsson twice won promotion to the Premier League with Reading under Steve Coppell in 2006 and Brian McDermott in 2012.

And the 38-year-old stressed: “Nobody has invented a formula for success yet, but Reading know what it’s about.

“Some of the players here now won promotion to the Premier League last time and they know it’s a long, long season. If they’re still in a decent position in January anything can happen.”

Ex-midfield enforcer Gunnarsson was part of McDermott’s squad that put together an unrelenting late run of 15 wins from 17 games to clinch the 2012 Championship title.

But not even that can match Royals’ 2006 campaign when Coppell’s men won the same trophy with a new record of 106 points.

“I don’t think those things come around very often in football,” admitted Gunnarsson. “It was a special season and for some reason we hit that amazing form and carried it all the way through.

“We didn’t really have any dips which happens to teams most of the time, even to the best teams.

“You look back at that season and at the things we did well and try and put that message across. Everything clicked but trying to put it into words is impossible.”

Gunnarsson was back at Reading’s Hogwood Park training base recently having enrolled on a UEFA A Licence course with the Icelandic FA at Wokefield Park near Mortimer.

He made 163 appearances for Reading and scored 10 goals before leaving in March after eight years to become player-coach with KR Reykjavik, his hometown club.

His magic soon rubbed off: “I grew up there and played for the first team before I moved abroad,” he explained. “I went back in March and we won the league by beating the points tally record. I thought it was a good way to finish off before moving on to something else.”

Gunnarsson, who says the prospect of managing Reading one day interests him, has now hung up his boots for good and is looking forward to his first season as manager, coach and bottlewasher with Stjarnan.

“They came third in the league last season and have a place in the Europa League qualifying rounds,” he said. “I’m excited by it.”

l EX-ROYAL Gylfi Sigurdsson’s Iceland failed to reach their first World Cup finals after losing 2-0 overall to Croatia in a play-off.