TOMMY Elphick has set his sights on lifting a confidence-bereft Reading FC up the Championship table.

The Aston Villa loanee admitted his new teammates lacked moral when he joined in his first training session last week.

Elphick stepped off the bench to help steer Royals to a 3-1 win against fellow strugglers Burton Albion on Tuesday night and hopes his arrival will give the players a mental lift.

“It’s noticeable that the lads have been a bit low on confidence,” he said.

“The main aim for me is to come here and make a difference. Leadership is one of my skills, and sometimes when you’re on a bad run you can forget that you’re a good player."

Thirty-year-old Elphick, who previously captained both Bournemouth, Brighton and Villa, became Royals' first signing in the January transfer window.

Boss Jaap Stam was keen to secure more defensive cover and had a bid knocked back for Brentford's Yoann Barbet.

Elphick had fallen out of favour under Manchester United legend Steve Bruce and said the chance to work with Stam was too good to turn down.

"As a player, Jaap was immense," he told Reading FC.

"And when I first started watching football he made a big impression on me.

"I’m just really looking forward to adding to the group and working with the manager on a daily basis."

Royals face Millwall at Madejski Stadium on Saturday (3pm ko).

Following a barren run of eight league games without a win before Tuesday's victory against the Brewers, Elphick pledged to help Royals go on a winning run.

He continued: “I’ve been there enough times myself – nothing is easy and straightforward in football. Sometimes you need ugly wins like we did against Burton to come out the other side and hopefully go on a little run.

"Reading is a massive football club, and although things haven’t quite gone as we would have liked this season so far, it’s a progressive club.

“New owners who are investing; a young manager who has a vision and a philosophy – that’s hard to come by.

“It’s easy to go against when things aren’t going your way, but trust me, the club and the players are lucky to be getting the information and freedom that they’re getting to go and play and playing an attractive way – the way I believe the game should be played."