Royals boss Veljko Paunovic was left frustrated by his team's 'immature' performance after Birmingham City won 2-1 at the Madejski Stadium.

Birmingham raced into a two-goal lead at half-time after two superb efforts from Jon Toral gave the visitors a commanding advantage. 

Yakou Meite pulled a goal back before Lucas Joao spurned a glorious opportunity from the penalty spot.

Blues captain Harlee Dean was sent off after fouling Meite in the area which led to the penalty being awarded, but Reading couldn't make their man advantage count as Birmingham held on for all three points.

Speaking after the game, Paunovic said: "I wish that we started the first half like we started the second.

“We had the same line-up as the last game and maybe there was some fatigue or heavy legs - but, we didn't look the same as in the last four games.

"The second half reaction was fantastic. But, after the penalty, we struggled to recover.

"You can be disappointed after that but you can’t afford to give your opponent a chance to practically close the game.

"This is something that we have to learn.

"We've been in these situations in the past where we are down at half time.

"We couldn't come back completely. We have to put ourselves to the next level.

"The level of maturity, when we can deal with adversity and when we can recover from mistakes.

“I’m so happy to work with these fantastic young men and I’m proud of everything so far.  

"But, we have to keep improving as a team and keep getting mature."

Yakou Meite came off late on after a nasty looking collision with Neil Etheridge, and Paunovic spoke about Meite's condition after the game.

Althoguh too early to confirm the extent of his injury, the Royals boss expressed his concerns.

"It was a terrible collision, it looked very awkward.

"We will assess him but it didn't look good.

"I can't tell you anything specific but, hopefully, it's not as bad as it looked.

"It was a bit of everything - a body to body collision then he hit the floor and from the impact he hit the ground with his head.

"They [the medical staff] still need time to assess him to see if there's any concussion involved."

Lucas Joao also appeared to be clutching his thigh late on, with the Reading manager confirming that Joao will be assessed to discover the extent of his injury.

The Serbian boss acknowledged that his side may be suffering from fatigue due to the intense fixture schedule faced in recent weeks.

“We have to look to our next game as always.

"We have to get results and prepare the guys in the best possible manner and recover and replenish.

“We always are aware and monitoring the fatigue of our players.

"This league is fantastic and exciting, but you know the players sometimes have to play with issues and small problems.

“You have to look for the right mix between freshness and issues they carry.”