Reading boss Mark Bowen said that his side ‘forgot how to play’ at times in the 2-0 defeat to Millwall at The Den.

Goals from Matt Smith and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson secured all three points for the hosts, ending Reading’s unbeaten run which stretched back to the home defeat with Birmingham City on December 7.

The Royals boss said that he was disappointed with the manner of his side’s performance.

“The biggest disappointment is that we forgot how to play. We got wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the pressure which the crowd put on the referee and everybody else.

“We’ve got to be brave, not just heading and making tackles but on the ball and play our game. We lost that a bit which surprised me because we do have good quality and we’ve shown that.

“We have to make sure that we go into the game [against Nottingham Forest on Wednesday] confident and realise that we are a good side. We’ve been on a good run, and we have to make sure that we bounce back.”

Mark Bowen said that he was left ‘staggered’ after the first goal, claiming that the referee had missed a handball in the build up to the goal.

“I’m staggered that the referee didn’t see that the fella handballed it when he was two yards away from him.

“Three of our guys stopped which they should not have done but we never really recovered, and the ball went out wide, we didn’t defend the box and then we went 1-0 down.

“We changed [formation] to a 4-4-2 later thinking that it might affect them more, but we did not adapt to it as well as we should have.”

The game was marred by reports of homophobic abuse from a section of home supporters in the first half.

Bowen confirmed that the referee spoke to him and Millwall manager Gary Rowett to inform them of the situation.

“The referee said to me that it’s my job to make you aware that I’ve been informed there were homophobic chants on the far side.

“I don’t know who they were directed at, he was just told by the linesman on the fiar side there had been homophobic chants.

“It’s a shame and it’s probably happening too much not, but it is for Millwall to deal with.”