PAUL Clement accused his Reading FC players of lacking passion in tonight’s home defeat to Norwich City.

Royals have now lost the first four home league games in a season for the first time in the club’s history following the 2-1 reverse to the Canaries.

Teemu Pukki’s first-half opener for the visitors was cancelled out by Jon Dadi Bodvarsson – only for Mario Vrancic to fire Daniel Farke’s men back in front barely a minute later.

It was a hugely frustrating evening, especially on the back of Saturday’s 3-2 win at Preston.

And Clement failed to dress up his side’s performance and questioned his players’ attitude in the first half.

Reading Chronicle:

Teemu Pukki puts Norwich 1-0 up.

Here is every word of Clement’s post-match press conference: “We wanted to follow Saturday with a good performance here.

“I thought we were good at the start of the second half up until we scored, and that’s the kind of team I want to see.

“But we were poor in the first half, second best in a lot of areas, not compact or tight enough and not competitive enough.

“Norwich are a decent side, but we made them look an even better side in that first half.

“We came out with the right spirit for the second half and deservedly got back into it, but the timing of their second goal is pure naivety.

“We had the momentum, we needed to keep it tight and not make any mistakes, so to concede again was so disappointing.

“It wasn’t about one player, there were two or three mistakes leading to their second goal.

“You can’t allow the away team to get back into it after you’ve just scored. You are shooting yourself in the foot.”

Reading Chronicle:

Reading striker Jon Dadi Bodvarsson came off the bench to equalise in the 72nd minute.

Clement revealed what was said to his players in the dressing room at half time.

“I told them to play with passion and intensity and to give their best for their team-mates and the club.

“That has to be the foundation before any tactical work. We must be competitive, strong in duals, close the opposition down and win second balls, they are the fundamentals.

“When you are trying to get back in the game you also rush your chances, become impatient and force things.

“There was a lot of that, particularly at 2-1 down.”

Reading Chronicle:

But Norwich substitute Mario Vrancic scored what proved to be the winner just one minute later.

Reading remain in the relegation zone after eight games, but Clement will not be pushing the panic button ahead of Saturday’s visit of Hull City (3pm ko).

He explained: “We’ve all been good and bad situations, but we’ve been really buoyant, the atmosphere before Preston was really good and we executed a good game – today we didn’t.

“We weren’t good enough over the 90 minutes to get anything out of it.

“But Saturday is another opportunity and a home game.

“There are still lots of games to play. Had we won tonight we would have gone above Norwich and potentially been four points off the top six.

“The margins are still very fine and we have to make sure we find ways to win like we did at Preston.”

He continued: “I approach games all the same, with good attitude and energy.

“We didn’t have that tonight. We didn’t get it right in the first half but our attitude in the second half was much better.

“Before you get to the technical stuff you have to show passion, you have to battle.

“I thought it was missing from our performance, especially in the first half.

“It’s massively frustrating.”