READING FC boss Paul Clement said pinpointing where things went wrong for the Royals is a million dollar question.

The 47-year-old hinted he has identified ways he can turn Reading's fortunes around in the long term, but he must get through Sunday's vital fixture against Cardiff City first.

Royals suffered a complete capitulation at the hands of Ipswich Town last Saturday, slumping to their heaviest defeat at Madejski Stadium for more than 11 years.

A bitterly disappointing campaign could see the Royals slide down to League One come Sunday afternoon, depending on results elsewhere.

And when quizzed on why Royals continue to make mistakes, Clement replied: "It's the million dollar question.

"If there was a simple answer someone would have put it right before I got here.

"It's a complexed issue. There are many dynamics to deal with.

"I have an idea of what I need to change medium and long term but that's not going to help us this weekend.

"There are enough players here that if they play up to their level and most importantly as a team we will have a chance against Cardiff.

"If they don't like against Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich then we won't."

Royals were neck and neck with managerless Tractor Boys on Saturday before four second-half goals put them to the sword at Madejski Stadium.

It is not the first time that Reading have conceded late goals.

In fact, the last time they faced the Bluebirds, Reading had grasped a two-goal lead before the then visitors staged an incredible fightback.

And Clement said: "We have let a lot of goals in late in games.

"That's happened under my watch and the previous manager as well.

"Against QPR and Preston we kept the game tighter and we managed to see out the result under significant pressure.

"This is a game when we can take more of the ball than we have in recent games.

"They go back to front and set plays go into the box.

"We will have to take the ball and create chances that way.

"If we defend right we will create some chances."

The former Derby County boss admitted he felt like axing the entire starting XI on Saturday for his first-team plans for the coming weekend.

But a frustrated Clement took positives from what he has seen in training this week.

He added: "After the game I thought about playing the Under 23s.

"But that's not reality and it wouldn't be sensible.

"There will be a couple but not a massive change.

"The players have been very focused.

"But we haven't been good enough in the last two games and we have to do better on Sunday because it's a very big challenge."

Pundits have already tipped Reading to be on the receiving end of another drubbing when they face Neil Warnock's side.

A win for the Bluebirds will see them grasp automatic promotion to the Premier League, but third-placed Fulham are lurking closely behind.

Clement concluded: "I don't care what they (pundits) think.

"It's about the way we prepare and our attitude going into the game.

"It's a big game for us but it's a massive game for them too.

"These are the best games to play, there is a lot at stake.

"It's going to be an exciting afternoon.

"I won't let the players know what's going on elsewhere.

"I will probably wait until the end myself."

Royals could be boosted by the return of Paul McShane and Callum Harriott, who are both available for selection after lengthy spells on the sidelines.

Omar Richard has not trained this week after picking up an ankle injury against Ipswich and will miss out.