JOSE Gomes’ first home game as Reading FC boss ended in disaster after a 4-1 mauling by Swansea City.

There was an air of New Year’s Day optimism before kick-off as the Portuguese manager made his bow at Madejski Stadium.

But as home debuts go, it couldn’t have been much worse.

Royals were second best for most of the match, the defence was a shambles and confidence appears to be shot away.

The home side did rally towards the end when a late goal for substitute Callum Harriott on his return from a two-year injury lay-off brought glimmer of sunshine on an otherwise depressing day.

By that stage Graham Potter’s visitors had done more than enough to claim the victory they deserved, with Oli McBurnie scoring early in each half and Connor Roberts and Mike van der Hoorn netting in between.

So a new dawn under Gomes is yet to materialise following two defeats and a draw in his opening three games since replacing Paul Clement.

If the Reading manager was unsure about the size of the task ahead, he can be under no illusion now after his side were booed off at the interval when already 3-0 down and also at the full-time whistle.

Royals are deep in a relegation crisis for a second successive season and are now five points from safety in 23rd position.

They have not won in the league for 10 matches and a change of manager has so far failed to produce the reaction the club would have been hoping for.

Reading’s best chance of avoiding the drop into League One could now rest with the January transfer window and Gomes’ ability to bring in some desperately needed resources.

Reading Chronicle:

Andy Rinomhota tries to get Reading going. Picture: Jasonpix.

Gomes named an unchanged team from the one that drew 0-0 at QPR on Saturday, with fit-again Liam Moore and Harriott on the bench.

But it couldn’t have been a worse start for the Portuguese after his side fell behind with just one minute and 40 seconds on the clock.

Kyle Naughton floated what looked like a hopeful cross from the right into the Reading penalty area where Tialo Ilori and John O’Shea were both waiting.

However, McBurnie got his body between the two centre-backs and flicked a header past Anssi Jaakkola and into the corner of the net.

It was a nightmare opening for the hosts. Josh Swift tested Swans keeper Erwin Mulder with a 25-yard free kick and Sone Aluko blazed over from ever further out, but it was the visitors who were in control.

Royals began to get a little more joy and saw Yakou Meite head over from a Swift free-kick on the 20 minute mark.

And a series of ventures into Swansea territory suggested momentum was gradually changing hands.

So when Potter’s men doubled their lead on 29 minutes it came as a hammer blow.

Matty Grimes sprayed a lovely cross-field ball to Nathan Dyer who fed Bersant Celina.

The Kosovo international flicked the ball over the Reading defence and Fer pushed it to the back post where the unmarked Roberts had the simple task of bundling it over the line, with Jaakkola’s attention diverted by the presence of McBurnie.

Royals almost pulled one back with a stroke of fortune, Swift’s cross almost catching out Mulder who managed to grab the ball just before it went over the line.

The home fans were screaming for a goal, but referee Tim Robinson used goal-line technology to confirm the ball stayed out.

Bad turned to worse for the home side when Swansea grabbed a third on the stroke of half time.

Reading Chronicle:

Connor Roberts bundles home Swansea's second goal. Picture: Jasonpix.

It was the simplest of goals as Grimes curled a free-kick from the left around the back of the Royals defence where Van der Hoorn was left free to stab home.

Gomes’ men trudged off at half-time with jeers ringing in their ears.

And when Swansea added a fourth less than two minutes into the second half, some Royals fans had seen enough.

The visitors went close seconds after the restart when McBurnie’s effort was blocked by Ilori.

But moments later Wayne Routledge was bundled over by Garath McCleary in the box and McBurnie made no mistake from the resulting penalty by sending Jaakkola the wrong way.

It was shocking stuff from the Royals who looked totally bereft of confidence and resigned to another arresting defeat.

They did, to their credit, enjoy some decent spells from there.

The visitors, happy to contain then hit on the break, saw Nathan Dyer test Jaakkola with a low volley midway through the second period.

But Royals did pull one back on 78 minutes when Harriott played a neat one-two with fellow sub Danny Loader then spun and fired past Mulder into the corner.

Loader also went close with a shot that deflected narrowly wide, but Swansea rode out the closing moments to claim a victory and leave Gomes with plenty to ponder ahead of Saturday’s trip to Manchester United in the FA Cup third round.

Reading: Yiadom, Ilori, O'Shea, Richards; Swift, Rinomhota; McCleary (Harriott 72), Aluko (Loader 60), Barrow; Meite (Bodvarsson 60). Subs not used: Walker, Kelly, Osho, Moore. Booked: Ilori 67, Barrow 75.

Swansea City: Mulder, Naughton, Rodon, van der Hoorn, Roberts, Fer (c), Grimes, Dyer (Fulton 85), Routledge (Carter-Vickers 88), Celina, McBurnie (Baker-Richardson 73). Subs not used: Nordfeldt, James, Montero, McKay. Booked: Roberts 53.

Referee: Tim Robinson.

Attendance: 15,644 (Swansea 1,980).