READING FC boss Paul Clement urged his squad to prove they are up for a relegation battle when they face Queens Park Rangers at Madejski Stadium tonight (5.30pm ko).

The 47-year-old, who will make his first appearance as manager after replacing Jaap Stam last week, said he wants to see determination from his players when they face Ian Holloway's Rangers.

Clement has enjoyed four full training sessions with the Royals ahead of tonight’s game and insisted his side will go in to the fixture brimming with confidence following a dismal run of results.

But he warned the players there will be no excuses for a lack of fighting spirit.

“I want the players to show me that they are up for this battle,” asserted Clement.

“They need to show character, determination and confidence even when the pressure is high.

“They need to push and push for this club all the way to the very end.”

Clement takes charge of his first game as a Royal with the club hovering just three points above the Championship relegation zone.

Reading have won just one game in their last 18, but Clement believes his side will be confident of securing a win tonight.

“The focus has been on tactical preparation,” he continued.

“We want some quick wins in terms of performances but we also want some quick wins in terms of moral.

“I felt confident that we could stay up before I saw the players. All you have to do is look at the performances and level that they achieved last year and the performances this year.

“There hasn’t been a massive shift in playing personnel - obviously there have been some changes.

“Confidence is always affected when you go through a bad run of results.

He added: “The best way to get confidence is to get a result but we haven’t had a game yet.

“I told the players that we will prepare well and when the game arrives if they trust the preparation that will give them confidence.

“I have no doubts that they will go into tonight feeling confident and have the belief they can put in a good performance.

“Having a home game is good, particularly if the fans come and get behind the team because that’s a big advantage.

“Every game is tough, there are no sure things or gimmes, if we put in the right performance and the execution is right then we will have a good chance.”

Royals will be without Aston Villa loanee Tommy Elphick and club captain Paul McShane when they face Holloway's men.

Clement was handed a major boost however as Chris Martin returned to full training after an illness.

Meanwhile, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Omar Richards remain sidelined, alongside long-term absentees Garath McCleary, Jordan Obita and Stephen Quinn.

Clement concluded: “I knew the starting XI pretty early in the week, I just needed to cross some t’s and dot some i’s with those coming back from international duty and make sure everyone got through the week without any issues.

“I’m confident that the ability and experience of this team will get us some results in the next eight games.

“Tommy Elphick is not ready. He needs more time for his knee to settle down. We hope he’ll be back soon because he’s a good player.

“Omar Richards is making progress and we hope he joins training next week.

“Paul McShane has a continuing hamstring issue that will keep him out for the short term. Hopefully we will see him in the latter games of the season but we’re looking at him day by day.

“Bodvarsson has recovered from the injury and he’s making steps to rejoining training.”