PAUL Clement says he will not be side-tracked by boardroom issues at Reading FC and will continue to focus on improving results.

Royals are on the lookout for a new chief executive after Ron Gourlay resigned on Monday.

It is understood the club’s Chinese owners do not have a replacement lined up and will explore all options, a process that could take several weeks.

But Clement says he cannot allow his concentration to waver given his team’s poor start to the Championship season.

Royals are 20th in the table and are only outside the relegation zone on goal difference ahead of a tough run of fixtures.

“Change can happen in football – to players, coaches managers and executives,” said Clement whose side travel to Wigan this Saturday (3pm) and Leeds United next Tuesday.

“We had it when Brian Tevreden left earlier in the season to go to Roeselare in Belgium and now we have the situation where Ron goes.

“From my point of view I wish him all the best. This was the second time I’ve worked with him after Chelsea and we had a good, open relationship.

“Whether Ron is here or not, our focus is always on working closely with the team and that is what I’ll concentrate on.”

He added: “There’s a hierarchy here. When I first came here, Ron was the chief executive and Brian Tevreden was here. More recently I’ve been working very closely with Gianluca Nani, much closer than I did with Brian or Ron.

“Ron was more on the business side and Gianluca more on the football side, so that continues.”

Reading Chronicle:

Paul Clement has as close working relationship with Gianluca Nani, right.

Reading's worrying run of four wins in 17 league games has put Clement under the spotlight.

But he denies his position could be weaker with Gourlay now gone.

“There’s no change whatsoever,” he stressed. “I know the situation the team is in and I’m as disappointed as anyone that we haven’t done better.

“But whatever goes on around the team, whether on the media side, the fans or the executive side, my focus is always on working with the players and that will never change.”

Meanwhile, Clement confirmed Reading could be heading for a busy January transfer window and that the process of recruitment continues even without a chief executive. He confirmed a number of fringe players are likely to leave “for the good of the club and their careers”.

He concluded: “Those key issues are dealt with by the manager, sporting director and owner, we are dealing the specifics on the football side.

“I’m not in the dark, I’m involved with going on, but the majority of my focus is on training for games.

“I’m in constant dialogue with Gianluca about the team, how its performing and where we may need to strengthen. Those conversations are daily.

“But at the same time, he protects me a bit because my focus is on the players. When the time is right we will be able to make those critical decisions.”


Paul Clement also gave an injury update at this afternoon’s press conference at Hogwood.

Mo Barrow has been struck down with illness and will not be involved, striker Jon Dadi Bodvarsson remains at least two weeks away and Paul McShane has aggravated a knee injury that has put his recovery back.

Reading Chronicle:

Mo Barrow is a major doubt for Saturday.

Goalkeeper Vito Mannone has returned to training but it not fully fit, as is the case with Omar Richards. Dave Edwards is nearing full fitness after a lengthy lay-off, but Jordan Obita and Saeid Ezatolahi are no closer to a return.

Teenage striker Danny Loader has also been training with the first team again and could be involved at the weekend. "He's part of the first-team squad now," he said.