SONE Aluko insisted sacking Reading FC boss Jaap Stam would be a mistake, regardless of the outcome of tonight's clash with Nottingham Forest (8pm ko).

Stam has found himself under intense pressure from supporters after winning just one of their last eight Championship games.

The 45-year-old's fortunes have turned upside down after he steered Royals side to a third-placed finish in the Championship last season, missing out on promotion to the Premier League after a heartbreaking defeat on penalties to Huddersfield Town in the play-off final.

And new signing Aluko, who joined from Championship rivals Fulham in the summer for a club-record fee, says nothing surprises him in football despite finding himself in a bottom-of-the-table scrap following his £6.5m move.

And the 28-year-old urged Royals' hierarchy to give Stam more time, regardless of the Forest result tonight.

"He was a big factor in me coming here," stressed Aluko.

"That's always the immediate reaction in football, if results don't go your way then it's time to change the manager.

"There is no guarantee that changing the manager will changes things.

"You can see the players are still working hard for the manager and believe in what he's doing.

"I'm not sure that [sacking Stam] would be the right decision."

Aluko became Royals' record signing when he joined from the Cottagers in August following a long-running transfer saga.

And the Nigerian international revealed he had no idea he would be fighting for points near the bottom of the table.

He added: "I wouldn't say it's surprising [that Reading are near the bottom of the table. It's obviously disappointing.

"When I came here I wasn't expecting this but I'm not surprised by anything in football. You have to work for every single point, especially in this league.

"There is no guarantee that because we finished third last year we will do the same this year. You have to earn it, nothing is given to you."

Reading defender Tiago Ilori will miss tonight's clash after suffering a nasty head wound in the 2-0 home defeat to Middlesbrough on Saturday.

The ex-Liverpool needed hospital treatment after clashing heads with team-mate Liam Moore in the first half.

Ilori was taken to hospital and released later that day, while Moore was received stitches at the stadium and was able to carry on.

Royals are also set to hand a late fitness test to Leandro Bacuna, who missed the Middlesbrough clash with a niggling hamstring injury.

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Jordan Obita, Garath McCleary, George Evans, Callum Harriott, Joseph Mendes and Stephen Quinn are all unavailable through injury.

Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest arrive at Madejski Stadium on the back of a 3-2 victory over Hull City on Saturday.

Kieran Dowell hit a hat-trick in the victory and is certain to start against the Royals.

Forest boss Mark Warburton will also assess the fitness of Daryl Murphy and Armand Traore.

Striker Murphy and left-back Traore missed Saturday's win away against Hull City because of hamstring injuries.