READING FC manager Paul Clement has responded to stinging criticism from the club’s supporters’ trust.

STAR – the Supporters’ Trust at Reading – penned a strongly-worded open letter to the Royals hierarchy this week.

They voiced their concerns over a ‘club in decline’ with Royals stuck in the Championship drop zone and seemingly set for another battle against relegation for the second season in a row.

The letter also criticised Reading’s Chinese owners Dai Yongge and sister Dai Xiu Li for failing to communicate with supporters since they bought the club in May 2017.

Clement, though, insists all is well behind the scenes at Madejski Stadium.

He said: “I’m quite clear on this, I work really closely with the owners. I spoke with Miss Dai and Ron Gourlay (chief executive) on Wednesday and I speak with Gianluca Nani (sporting director) every day.

“Our communication is open and clear and we know all know we’ve got to do better. The only way to turn this around is to get results for the team. A couple of wins and things can change really quickly so that is the focus for me.

“I can’t worry about what people are saying on social media, it can cause confusion. I’ve just got to focus on working with the players and getting results.”

He added: “I think it does need a lift from me and the players, that’s going to be the key. If the owners decide to come out and speak that’s totally within their rights because it is their club. The CEO and sporting director can if they want to.

“But it won’t mean much if we don’t win on Saturday or the following Saturday, that’s the most important thing.”

Clement’s position is under threat after just three wins from the opening 15 league games.

A growing number of fans have been calling for a change with former Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce among those linked with the Madejski Stadium hotseat.

Reading Chronicle:

Steve Bruce.

However, Clement has no intention of throwing in the towel ahead of a defining week.

Royals host Bristol City tomorrow (3pm ko) then entertain basement boys Ipswich Town a week later before a fortnight’s international break.

The suspicion is Clement must collect at least four points from those two games or face the possibility of the axe.

And he says he identifies with supporters’ frustrations.

“My message to the fans is I understand their frustration with the club and results, not only this season or last season but four out of the five last seasons, aside from the play-off final year which was remarkable,” he declared.

“The fans care a lot about the club and want it to do well and I’m working really hard to do that.

“But the communication here between me and the key stakeholders is very good. I feel their support, I don’t need them to come out and say that publicly.

“If fans feel they need that communication that’s fine, but it won’t affect how I work with the team.”

Reading have taken 12 points from their opening 15 games and lie 22nd in the table, with Lee Johnson’s Bristol City in 11th on 22 points.

But Clement revealed he has not been set a points target by the club’s owners.

“They are very interested in the club and very supportive, but they’re disappointed and not happy with the way things are at the moment,” he explained. “They want the club to be doing better.

“Mr Dai, our principle owner, doesn’t speak English so it’s difficult for him to come out and speak in public. The main thing is we get on with our jobs.

“I know they care a lot about this club. Miss Dai isn’t very happy but she is very supportive.

“They haven’t set specific targets, but they want me to get the team out of the relegation zone which is the first step.”