READING FC assistant boss Nigel Gibbs expressed his disappointment after a drab 2-1 defeat at non-league outfit Eastleigh FC this afternoon.

A lacklustre performance in the scorching heat at Silverlake Stadium saw Paul Clement's side punished by a late Ben Williamson winner after Paul McCallum's opener had been cancelled out by Royals' Leandro Bacuna.

And while Gibbs, who returned to Reading or his second spell last season, admitted he saw positives in the game, he stressed both he and the players felt hurt by the result.

"The first game was always going to be difficult with the heat and the pitch," stated Gibbs.

"It's always disappointing to lose and the players are disappointed as well.

"We were able to see some of the players who we haven't seen before. The two lads who have signed for the club (Andy Yiadom and David Meyler) and the two players who have come back from loan (Yakou Meite and Adrian Popa).

"From that point of view it was a really good exercise.

"There were flashes of things we have been working on in the week but there is still lots to work on."

Royals went behind in the first half when McCallum latched on to a neat through-ball and slotted beyond the helpless Anssi Jaakola.

Bacuna looked to have spared Reading's blushes with a second-half strike, but Clement's side were punished again four minutes from time when Williams stabbed home.

In truth, Reading failed to deal with the initial cross and a mistake by Vito Mannone allowed Williamson to send the home crowd into raptures.

And Gibbs confessed there is more work to be done on the training ground before Royals' next friendly fixture at AFC Wimbledon this Saturday (12pm ko).

"When you concede two goals you're always disappointed," asserted Gibbs.

"It's a team thing, offensively and defensively, that's something we really need to work on.

"We need to make sure we're tighter as a team, create more chances and score more goals."

Meanwhile, Royals' assistant boss refused to be drawn on speculation that Reading have made multiple bids for Coventry City striker Marc McNulty.

Sky Blues manager Mark Robins insisted he expects to keep his 28-goal striker at Richoh Arena next season, irrespective of Royals' mounting interest.

And when quizzed if Royals would return with another bid for McNulty, Gibbs stated: "I've got no comment on that.

"We're waiting to see if we can bring players in.

"I'm sure there are players out there the club are trying to bring in and we'll have to wait and see."