READING FC boss Paul Clement believes his side put in their best performance yet under his leadership despite losing 1-0 at Fulham. 

The Royals started strongly against promotion-chasing Fulham, but were made to pay when Stefan Johansen scored the only goal of the game on 25 minutes. 

Clement's side had squandered several chances to take an early lead at Craven Cottage and the 47-year-old praised his side's attacking start to he game.

Speaking after the match, he explained: "We were playing well, so I'm disappointed with the way it finished.

"If I reflect over the four games I've been in charge, some of the defending and attacking was among the best I've seen from the team. 

"But we've not got the result. I thought we played poorly against QPR and Preston, but we came away with six points. Tonight was arguably our best performance, and we've come away with nothing."

Clement's side struggled to get back into the contest following Fulham's opener, and things went from bad to worse when Leandro Bacuna was sent off deep into added time for a rash tackle on Ryan Sessegnon.

Reading Chronicle:

Referee Lee Mason sends off Leandro Bacuna in the 1-0 defeat at Fulham.

Clement added: "It was a much higher level of opposition, and I think we were in it right until the end, the first half was much better than the second, especially the first half until the goal.

"It is frustrating but where you lose a player, be it through injury or suspension, but you have another waiting to step up."

Royals face fellow strugglers Sunderland at Madjeski Stadium on Saturday and Clement urged supporters to get behind the team as they fight for survival.

"We've got to prepare well now, I think that Saturday's game is the biggest in the season for the club. 

"It'll be great to create an atmosphere like it was tonight, the atmosphere here was brilliant, especially for a Championship game. You've got both teams trying to win it, playing good football at times."