Royals boss Mark Bowen felt it was a case of two points lost rather than one gained after his side could only manage a 1-1 draw with Hull City at the Madejski Stadium.

After a dreary opening half, Reading started the better of the two sides after the break and were rewarded for their efforts with Jordan Obita finishing off a slick move with a powerful finish through George Long’s legs.

Malik Wilks drew the visitor’s level in the 82nd minute. The Hull man had time in the Reading area to take a touch and fire at goal, before seeing his effort take a fortuitous deflection which left Rafael with no chance.

Speaking after the game, Bowen said: “I thought that we looked jaded and fatigued at times. Our passing game wasn’t at it as a team or as individuals.

“You’re looking for your players to get on the ball and be in control of their own destiny in a football match, but I thought today was more like a basketball game because we were so sloppy in our passing at times.

“We got our noses ahead and you’re looking to see the game out. In my position as an ex defender, I thought [Hull’s goal] was poor defending on our part. It’s two points lost, we’ve got to be more focused and more professional in the things we do on the pitch.”

With three tough games coming up for Bowen, the Royals boss called on his side to be more clinical going forwards as Reading look to win for the first time in the league since New Year’s Day.

“We need to be more clinical when we get forward. We’ve never been a team that creates loads and loads of chances – we need to be more clinical when we get into good areas.

“We’ve got to control [possession] better, our ball retention was not there today.”

Bowen hit back at claims from some section of the Royals support who felt the side were overly negative in the game.

 “Anyone who says that [the side were too negative] does not know the facts of what we do and how it works. If you look at the teams who play three at the back and four at the back, it makes absolutely no difference. It’s not a negative thing.

“If you play three at the back you have two wing backs who go forward, you have an extra man in the middle and you can play two forwards.

“If I look back before the last game, half my games we had three at the back and half the games we had four at the back. The goal difference was exactly the same for both periods.

“We’ve had a few injuries to defend us. Michael Morrison played two hours in the week, Tyler Blackett was involved, and Liam Moore had his foot in a plastic boot to immobilize it because he had a problem with his foot.  

“It is the nature of this league, it’s brutal. You don’t get a lot of time, if any time, to work on the training ground with your players.”