JOSE Gomes suggested his Reading FC players looked ‘scared’ of performing in front of their own fans during the 4-1 thumping by Swansea City.

Gomes’ first home game as Royals boss got off to a disastrous start when Oli McBurnie fired the Swans ahead with just one minute 40 seconds on the clock.

Connor Roberts made it 2-0 on 29 minutes, Mike van der Hoorn added a third on the stroke of half time before McBurnie’s penalty early in the second-half put the Swans four up.

Callum Harriott, returning after more than two years out with injury, pulled one back late on, but it failed to detract from a shambolic display by Gomes’ men who were booed off the pitch.

Royals are winless in 10 Championship matches and remain one off the bottom but are now five points from safety.

And a shell-shocked Gomes admitted he did not see it coming following Saturday’s 0-0 draw at QPR.

He said: “I am a bit disappointed with the way the players started the game.

“We are near the bottom and have no time, space or chance at all if we start games like this.

“We have to start with strength and energy so today I didn’t like.

“We started with the same players as the previous match against QPR when they did very well.

“I was expecting them to start with the same happiness and energy, but we conceded in the second minute.”

Reading Chronicle:

Oli McBurnie puts Swansea 4-0 up against Reading. Picture: Jasonpix.

He added: “I think our players felt the pressure of playing at home. I told them at half time that these supporters are here to help them and to play football. It is not work, it is a football game and they must show what they can do in the second half.

“Unfortunately, we let in another goal in the second minute. We showed some good things but it’s easier to play when the opponent is winning 4-0 and they don’t apply much pressure.

“What I can promise is in all the games I am here as head coach, we cannot see this any more.

“The way we started was unacceptable.

“Football is our life and we must give everything and all our energy in a game. That’s what I didn’t like.

“I was angry at half time but that will stay inside the changing room.

“The supporters are not the problem, but we started the game like we were scared.

“You must enjoy the game and with our energy we can push the supporters to help it.

“The supporters are not the problem, it’s the players and the way they start the game.

“The same players showed different energy in the second half, so it’s not a physical thing, it’s a mental thing and whether or not you want to fight for it in a game.”

Reading Chronicle:

John Swift has a rare chance for Royals against Swansea.

Gomes admitted the Reading squad is too big and a number of January departures are expected, with Dave Edwards looking set to join Shrewsbury Town in the coming days.

He is also confident of bringing in some new players of his own in the transfer window.

“We are working on it with the board of directors,” he explained. “It’s normal for a club in our position to try and improve the squad now.

“The number of players in our squad is definitely very high so we need to reduce the number then afterwards try and bring in players who can make us stronger.”