Veljko Paunovic cut a frustrated figure after Reading's 0-0 draw with Preston North End.

The Royals missed a chance to go level on points with second-placed Swansea City after spurning the opportunity to pick up all three points at Deepdale.

A late penalty miss from Lucas Joao compounded the frustration for Royals fans.

Speaking after the game, Paunovic said: "There are a lot of positives to take like a clean sheet and the team created a lot of opportunities.

"We put up a solid performance, especially in the second against a difficult team in conditions which weren't great, I think we put up a very solid performance.

"But, this draw feels like a loss.

"I think because of the way we played, how we built our performance throughout the game. We did a lot and had our opportunities, today we weren't lucky enough to convert.

"I always use this kind of disappointment to channel it towards the next game, the next opponent and to make sure it doesn't happen again."

Lucas Joao had an uncharacteristically quiet game ahead of the penalty miss, but the Serbian boss ensured that he would be backed despite a frustrating afternoon for the star striker.

"We are with Lucas when he scores and when he misses. We'll give him support in the changing room. It happens in football.

"He started to be disappointed early in the game because of the way things were developing on the field. They made it very hard for us to develop our game. 

"We built the momentum where it could've culminated in the conversion of the penalty kick. 

"We have to always stay connected."

Reading only made one change in the second half and di not bring Michael Olise off the bench despite the deadlock.

Explaining the decision, Paunovic said: "I think the team looked very solid. Sone was contributing a lot to the team, in attack and defence.

"The reason for his change was tactical. We knew we were goingto have more set-pieces and Alfa is stronger in that part of his game.

"For Michael, he's our diamond. We have to be very careful, especially when he has issues with his shoulder. There was a risk we could have lost him for a long time.

"I wanted to have him there, I spoke with him and told him to be ready. I thought  that there was a risk he could get a knock and be exposed to a longer term injury."

Reading remain unbeaten in the league since the away defeat to Brentford over a month ago, which Paunovic remains produd of. 

"I am hard on myself and when I don't win.

But we are unbeaten [since the Brentford defeat], building our momentum and we have to still keep going.

"There are a lot of positives in our game. 

"In the second half we conceded zero opportunities which the same team a few months ago not only scored three against us but also missed a penalty.

"At that moment we weren't mature or compete to have the performance we did today."

Speaking on the possibility of transfers, Paunovic said: "We had conversations and this final week is going to be decisive.

"There are two players we enquired [about] and are working towards getting done.

"But it's still too early to tell."