READING FC boss Paul Clement slammed his players’ second-half performance after their heavy 3-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday.

Royals could have taken the lead at Hillsborough when Jon Dadi Bodvarsson’s effort was cleared off the line by Frederico Venancio on the half-hour mark.

It was a costly miss as Fernando Forestieri fired the Owls ahead soon after before George Boyd added a second seven minutes after the restart.

Forestieri was on the scoresheet again in the 73rd minute as Royals struggled to contain Jos Luhukay’s hosts during the second half.

And Clement’s day got even worse three minutes later when Tyler Blackett was shown a straight red card for kicking out at Owls substitute Atdhe Nuhiu resulting in a three-match ban.

“I was very disappointed with the manner of the defeat,” groaned Royals boss. “I thought we were okay in the first half. Our shape looked quite good and we limited them to no real clear-cut chances.

“They had a couple where they got in behind us with some direct play, but apart from that our shape was good and we had a couple of chances ourselves.

“I didn’t get a clear view of their first goal but I saw the second and third and the nature of the defending was just not acceptable.

“It left us with a massive, uphill task and when the third one goes in it’s ultimately game over.”

Reading remain 19th in the table and five points above the relegation zone after Saturday’s results.

But the picture could change should Barnsley in 22nd place win their game in hand at Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night.

Reading Chronicle:

Sheffield Wednesday celebrate after going 2-0 up against Royals.

Royals host mid-table Ipswich Town in their final home game this Saturday (3pm ko) then go to Neil Warnock’s promotion-chasing Cardiff City on the last day of the season.

And Clement warned: “The performance in the second half on Saturday was nowhere near good enough.

“We’ve got to buck our ideas up.

“We’ve got two massive games coming up now and if we play like that we’re going to be in trouble.”

However, he also stressed: “I have no doubt the players will turn it round in front of our home fans and play much better next Saturday.”

Blackett became the fourth player sent off during Clement’s six matches in charge – an incredible record given no player had previously been red carded under him before he arrived at Madejski Stadium.

Blackett will now serve an automatic three-match ban for violent conduct, with Leandro Bacuna also set to serve the last of a three-match suspension this Saturday for his sending off in the 1-0 defeat at Fulham.

“It’s not a good situation,” accepted Clement. “The incident with Tyler was right over the other side of the field so I don’t know what happened.

“But I do know the whistle had gone so it’s an off-the-ball incident. Whatever happened, it’s not right and unfortunately we go into the penultimate game with a second player unavailable through suspension.”

Striker Yann Kermorgant and midfielder Dave Edwards have also been sent off under Clement, though both were for picking up two yellow cards.

“The first two situations are difficult to put into the same category as the second two as they were second yellow cards,” he argued. “But the last two are not good and we’ve got to put that right.”