JAAP Stam admitted today's 2-1 home defeat to Burton Albion was one of the lowest points of his Reading FC reign.

Celebrations for the 500th fixture at Madejski Stadium fell flat when Nigel Clough's Brewers secured their first ever win over the Royals.

The visitors went in front through Tom Flanagan's 40th minute strike only for Mo Barrow to equalise with 76 minutes gone with his seventh goal of the season.

But Burton snatched victory five minutes later in bizarre circumstances when Liam Moore's clearance rebounded off Tom Naylor and squirmed through the hands of Vito Mannone.

Stam admitted: "Both goals were like that. Their first came from a throw in that bounced all the way through, then we don't defend well enough and their player gets in front of Liam Kelly and scores.

"By conceding that first goal you make it difficult to get back into the game.

"But to be honest, today was one of our worst games since I've been here in terms of how we played, our quality on the ball and our choices, basically the lot.

"It's got nothing to do with complacency.

"Burton have shown what they are capable of with. They're compact, play balls over the top for their quick players up front. You need to be aware of that.

"Maybe our players want it too much and make wrong choices. Then it can go wrong.

"The players were very eager to get the result but it's not there, not at all.

"When it's a difficult game and you are not playing to your normal level, you get an equaliser which is a boost then hopefully get a second one.

"But we gave away a second goal like that which is very frustrating."

Reading supporters, many taking advantage of £5 tickets across the board, booed their players off the pitch at half time and full time.

Stam added: "Fans can always boo, especially now. Finally the stadium was a sell-out, there were even more fans to boo as one thing leads to another.

"That's how it goes and maybe how it needs to be. We just need to focus on ourselves and what we need to do to improve so we don't conceded goals like that."

Stam also refused to blame the defeat on the bumpy Madejski Stadium pitch which was only laid down in the summer at the cost of around £1m.

"I don't want to use that as an excuse," he stressed. "We had a new pitch this season but it's not good at all.

"Because of the rugby as well you can see the grass is going.

"But I don't think it's fair to talk about the pitch. We just didn't play well enough.

"Even on that pitch we should have done a lot better.

"The players tried but a lot of them didn't reach the levels they normally reach."

This was Reading's second Championship defeat in a row after the 2-0 loss at Ipswich Town a week earlier.

Stam's men now face a stern test on Boxing Day when they travel to high-flying Bristol City (3pm).

Stam confessed: "After a performance like today it's sometimes good the games come around quickly.

"We want to show we're a good team and it's a chance to get a good result and extra boost."

Finally, Stam revealed he is unsure whether he can bring in reinforcements when the transfer window opens on January 1.

And he is also crossing his fingers no Reading players are sold following strong Premier League interest in defender Moore.

"We're always looking for players with ability but, if I'm honest, I don't know if we can do a lot in the January transfer market," explained Stam.

"Hopefully nobody will leave us, though there is always a possibility when players have been doing well and catch the attention of certain clubs.

"But I don't want to lose or sell players."