READING FC boss Jaap Stam admitted he could face the sack if his side's lacklustre form continues.

Royals slipped to disappointing 2-0 defeat against Garry Monk’s Middlesbrough on Saturday afternoon, their fourth defeat in five league games.

Despite looking the brighter team in the opening stages, Stam’s men gifted Boro a 14th-minute lead by giving away a “stupid” penalty when Joey van den Berg tripped Britt Assombalonga.

Boro skipper Grant Leadbitter slotted the spot-kick past Vito Mannone to put the visitors 1-0 up.

In truth, Royals struggled to get going after falling behind and rarely threatened Darren Randolph’s goal.

They also saw centre-back Tiago Ilori taken to hospital with concussion after a sickening clash of heads with team-mate Liam Moore in the first half.

Things went from bad to worse in the 74th minute when Assombalonga headed home from Johnny Howson’s pinpoint cross to secure Boro's first win in six Championship matches.

Reading have now won just once in their last eight league games as the pressure grows on Stam to turn things around.

And the 45-year-old Dutchman admitted his future is up in the air.

“It is how it is,” he groaned. “If people think they need to make another choice then that’s it.

“I like this club very much but if somebody else can do it better and get better results then they [the club] need to make that decision.

“We work very hard as a team and try to get the results. But if there’s somebody out there that can do better then they need to make that decision.”

Royals started the game with urgency and flair until van den Berg conceded a clumsy penalty.

They then had to endure a painstaking period with 10 men after Moore and Ilori clashed heads.

Stam continued: “I think we started very well. We conceded a stupid goal from a penalty.

"It’s hard to come back from that because we were facing a team who were dropping in deep. They had no intention to play, they were very defensive.

“We made two mistakes and conceded two goals. We don’t have any luck at the moment.

“We need to deal with it and learn from it and hopefully turn it around.”

Birmingham City’s 0-0 draw with Aston Villa left Royals 20th in the Championship table, just two points above the drop zone.

Royals host Nottingham Forest tomorrow night and then go to Derby County this Saturday (3pm) before a fortnight's international break.

Stam concluded: “Every game is important. We’re always trying to get results and we’re always trying to win.”