JAAP Stam admitted the ‘positive’ backing of Reading FC fans spurred his team on against Derby County.

Royals twice came from behind to clinch a 3-3 draw at Madejski Stadium against promotion-chasing Rams.

Stam has faced strong criticism from some supporters after a major slump in form that has seen Royals win just once in 13 Championship matches.

But there was no sign of any negativity in the stands on Saturday after Stam’s men put on one of their most encouraging displays for several weeks.

"The fans were very good,” declared Stam. "They were helping and supporting the team and they were positive in those brief moments when things were difficult.

"In all fairness to them, it was very good."

Reading Chronicle:

Royals striker Jon Dadi Bodvarsson makes it 3-3.

He added: "There is always a discussion in the press about my relationship with the fans. But my relationship is good, there are only a couple of people who make noise at times.

"Sometimes they say something, sometimes I say something, but it doesn't mean I don't like them.

"But for every team it's good if home fans are helping out.”

Kasey Palmer fired Derby in front in the sixth minute after Tiago Ilori had given the ball away.

Liam Kelly hit a 25-yard screamer to draw Royals level 10 minutes later then Mo Barrow's cool finish put the hosts 2-1 ahead in the 32nd minute.

However, Rams made it 2-2 three minutes later when the unmarked Richard Keogh netted from close range after Royals failed to deal with a free-kick.

Gary Rowett's visitors regained the lead just 35 second into the second half, Tom Lawrence waltzing through a static defence before firing past Vito Mannone.

But the hosts salvaged a draw 10 minutes from time through Bodvarsson's close-range finish after Barrow had dispossessed ex-Reading defender Chris Baird, who was shown a straight red five minutes later for a nasty challenge on Barrow.

Stam continued: "It's not about me, it's about the feeling the players need when they go out onto the pitch.

“You could see that it help players when fans are like that. It was very positive."

Reading Chronicle:

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson leads the Reading celebrations after they snatch a point against Derby County.

While Reading were a threat all afternoon going forward, Stam admitted his side must tighten up at the back after shipping three soft goals against Gary Rowett’s Rams.

"Mistakes happen, that's football,” he argued. “There are mistakes before every goal is scored.

"We've mentioned it before so it is frustrating and I told them that after the game.

"When you concede goals like that you can't be happy with a point.

"A point against Derby is good but in a way, by giving away cheap goals and scoring three yourself, you don't need to be satisfied."

Reading return to Championship action tomorrow night when they host Sheffield United (8pm ko).

The Blades lost 1-0 at Hull City on Friday night, leaving them eighth in the table and two points off the play-offs.

Royals were beaten 2-1 at Bramall Lane in October, Roy Beerens netting a late consolation after Paul Coutts and Billy Sharp had given United a 2-0 lead.