SAM Walker believes Reading FC are close to turning results around and climbing the Championship table.

Royals lie one point off the bottom going into Saturday’s crucial home clash against Millwall (3pm ko).

Boss Paul Clement has come under increasing pressure after two wins and seven defeats in their opening 12 matches.

Back-to-back losses to fellow strugglers QPR at home and high-flying West Brom away leading into the international break only added to the malaise.

Calls for Clement to go intensified after the 4-1 humbling at West Brom last time out – Reading’s heaviest defeat of the season.

However, it was also the first time Clement’s men had lost by more than one goal, as Walker was keen to point out.

“It’s a league of fine margins,” said the Reading keeper. “All games are tough and intense week in week out and often won by one or two moments, barring the game at West Brom who are a very good side.

“For me it’s about turning those key moments in our favour, gain that competitive edge, see out games and get the results we need.

“Other than the second half at West Brom, we’ve been ‘in’ every game, but unfortunately those key moments have been falling against us.

“It’s so important we start games well because when we do that we’ve generally done okay.”

Royals collected a meagre two point from their opening six league games before the first international break then seven points from the next six before the current break.

And that, insists Walker, is a step in the right direction.

“There was definitely an improvement in results and performances during the last six-game spell,” he argued.

“Obviously there is still a lot of work to do, but if you look at the season so far in two six-game blocks, we certainly improved on the first one.

“We’re positive about the improvements we’ve made, but aware of the ones we have to make to push ourselves up the table.”

Reading, in 21st place, now have a big opportunity to pull clear of the drop zone as they face two sides around them within the next week.

Millwall sit one place and one point above them in the table, while next Tuesday night’s opponents Birmingham City lie in 17th ahead of the clash at St Andrew’s (7.45pm ko).

“There is no easy game in the Championship and we’re looking forward to Saturday,” added Walker.

“When you have a defeat like we did at West Brom you want to get back out there the following day.

“We’ve waited two weeks now so we’re raring to go and excited for it.

“We’ll have all the international players back and make sure we’re prepared right and confident.

“It’s always different because some lads go away with their countries, but we’ve got some good work in on the training ground.”

Walker, 27, has enjoyed a run in the first team after Vito Mannone picked up an injury.

But the Italian stopper has now recovered and could be recalled this Saturday after Walker’s below-par display at West Brom.

“I’ve been pleased to come in and play really,” said Walker, who joined from Colchester United in the summer. “I got an opportunity to play at Preston where we got a positive result so it kind of rolled on from there.

“Throughout my career I have been used to being number one, so it was nice to get that feeling of playing again after not playing earlier in the season.

“I’ve enjoyed coming into the team, helping out and being part of a slightly more successful period of games.

“For me it’s about building on that now individually and as a team.”

Reading could be boosted by the return of strikers Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Sam Baldock after both missed the trip to the Hawthorns through injury.

Defender John O’Shea should also be available after recovering from an injury he suffered in training, though on-loan midfielder Saeid Ezatolahi is a doubt after picking up a knock on international duty with Iran.

And Walker called on Royals fans to show their support from the off, declaring: “They play a massive part. First of all we need to give them something to cheer and shout about.

“They can be our 12th man at home and give us that atmosphere we thrive on. But it comes from us first and we need to give them something to get them cheering and behind us. If we work together I’m sure we’ll get a positive result.”

Former Royals Jake Cooper and Jem Karacan could both be in the Millwall squad.