JAAP Stam wants Reading FC to show how good they can be when they face Tony Pulis' Middlesbrough at Riverside Stadium on Saturday (3pm ko).

Royals have not won in their previous four home fixtures but have shown far better form away from home.

In fact, Reading have picked up 19 points on the road this season compared to 13 at Madejski Stadium.

They will travel to the north-east today (Friday) and Dutchman Stam insisted there is still plenty of confidence in Royals' dressing room.

"We need to work hard every game to get a result," said Stam.

"It's not easy at times. It's a good opportunity for the team to show what they're capable of.

"Although we haven't won as many games as we want to the mood in the camp is still good.

"Players still feel confident so hopefully we can go there and get something.

"I haven't come across Tony Pulis before. I went to Italy when he came into management.

"It's not easy to play against teams that keep pressure on you by playing long balls, like Millwall.

"Middlesbrough have a lot of physique within their squad but they want to play football as well."

Royals will hand a late fitness test to Omar Richards and John Swift to see whether they can be involved against Boro.

Stam is still without long-term absentees Paul McShane, Callum Harriott, Stephen Quinn and Joseph Mendes.

New signing Tommy Elphick meanwhile will be out for around six weeks after picking up an injury against Millwall last Saturday.

Stam continued: "Tommy is going to be out for six weeks. That's a big blow for him and for us.

"We wanted to bring someone in with a certain ability and experience.

"He started well but then he got the injury. It's a big shame.

"We know we're short in defence. McShane is still out for a long time too."