DAVE Edwards leapt to Chris Gunter's defence after the Reading FC defender was slammed by supporters following the 1-1 draw with Hull on Saturday.

Fans blasted Gunter for failing to intercept a Sebastian Larsson pass which fell kindly in the path of Fraizer Campbell, who in turn neatly slotted past Royals' stopper Vito Mannone to put Hull ahead.

It is not the first time Gunter's defending has been questioned this season, especially after his failed sliding tackle allowed former Royal Lucas Piazon to rescue a point for Fulham at Madejski Stadium earlier in the season.

Chris Gunter ladies and gentlemen. #readingfc pic.twitter.com/59wotbDpWt

— Ed Ryding (@EdRyding) September 20, 2017

Gunter was eventually withdrawn from the field on Saturday afternoon and replaced by Jon Dadi Bodvarsson who rescued a point for Royals with a well-taken equaliser in the 86th minute.

But new signing Edwards, who has played alongside Gunter for several years as part of the Wales squad, insisted the criticism of the 28-year-old is unfair.

"I think the criticism is unwarranted," stressed Edwards.

"Ever since I've known Gunts from a young age he's always been 'Mr Reliable'. He will always give you a 7/8 out of 10 every week and since I've been here he's been great.

"He was playing right wing-back so for him to tuck in that far I thought he had done his job. He was literally an inch away from getting his toe on the ball.

"There are fine margins in football and it's easy to look at it from above but when you're down there on the pitch and everything's happening around you it's a lot more difficult.

"He's been a great player for this club and he'll be a big player going forward too."

The Newport-born defender was recently shortlisted for the Wales player of the year award.

But he faces pressure from Reading FC supporters following his recent supporters and some fans have called for him to be axed from the staring XI until he recaptures his best form.

Leandro Bacuna has previously played at right-back but is currently sidelined with a knee injury and could miss Tuesday night's trip to Millwall.

Major doubts also remain over Jordan Obita after the left-back was stretchered off on Saturday after damaging his knee when crashing into the advertising hoardings, leaving Stam potentially short of options in the full-back positions.