Following the 3-1 loss away to Brentford on December 19, Reading manager Veljko Paunovic has revealed why he only made one substitution during the match.

The Serbian, who has won 11 of his 22 games in charge of the Royals since taking over this August, took off midfielder Alfa Semedo and replaced him with former Rangers and Hull City striker Sone Aluko on the hour mark.

READ MORE: Player ratings - First half dominance from Brentford proves decisive

At the time, Reading were 3-0 down but the change seem to work, as Aluko scored within three minutes of entering the field.

It was his second goal of the season and only his sixth strike for the club since joining the Berskhire-side in the summer of 2017.

Speaking after the defeat at the Brentford Community Stadium, Paunovic said: “Everyone looked fresh and there were no reported issues or fatigue at half-time apart from Alfa Semedo.

“It was our call to sub him off as he looked tired.

“We also needed to give an opportunity to more attacking players like Sone and he had a very good impact as he not only scored the goal, but he also impacted the game in a positive way.”

He also spoke about Reading’s ever-growing injury problems, but did reveal that two players could be back relatively soon.

He continued: “The injuries really affect us a lot, especially when the list is so long and some of the guys have got a long time to recover.

“This affects the resources and the options, but it is a fact.

READ MORE: Paunovic on 'horrendous' first half, falling out of the top six, subs and injuries

“We are not looking at that as an excuse, but, it is a fact that we have to deal with, and we were severely punished with it.

“It is not normal when most of them [the injuries] are unavoidable.

“So we will look at that too and we will look forward to welcoming back our guys.

“The first to come back is Swift and Joao and he could return for Boxing Day.”

On transfers, he continued: “Given all the circumstances, we have to understand that there will be a change because of Brexit so it will be complicated to bring in someone from abroad.

“It is something that we need to look at, but we do have a few targets and a few ideas, but we have to acknowledge where we are and it is not going to be easy.”

READ MORE: AS IT HAPPENED: Brentford 3-1 Reading FC - Royals fall to third defeat in four

Up next for the Royals is a Boxing Day clash against Luton Town.

They have already met this season in the EFL Cup which Luton won 1-0.

They will play each other again in the FA Cup next month.