PAUL Clement wants Reading FC fans to make Madejski Stadium a fortress when they host Sunderland for the club’s ‘biggest game of the season’ on Saturday (3pm ko).

Clement will be looking to maintain his 100% home record as Royals boss following victories against Queens Park Rangers and Preston North End.

But Reading will face a different kind of challenge when they entertain Chris Coleman’s fellow relegation strugglers.

Royals remain five points above the relegation places after Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat at promotion-chasing Fulham, while Black Cats are one off the bottom and six points from safety.

And Clement is fully aware of what is at stake in Saturday’s crucial six-pointer.

“We have to prepare well,” he stressed. “I think Saturday is the biggest game of the season for the club.

“I don’t know if it will be enough to keep us in the league, but I do think it’s very important that we get the three points.”

Clement is also issuing a rallying call to Royals fans to get right behind the team when they step out against Sunderland.

And he urged them to replicate the atmosphere they found at Craven Cottage on Tuesday night.

“It would be great if we can create an atmosphere at Madejski Stadium like Fulham did,” he said. “I thought the atmosphere (at Craven Cottage) was brilliant for a Championship game.”

Royals currently sit five points clear of the Championship drop zone with four games remaining. However, Barnsley in 22nd place do have a game in hand.

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Sunderland manager, Chris Coleman. Picture: Alan Hayward.

Clement’s men then go to Sheffield Wednesday and host Ipswich Town before ending the campaign away to Neil Warnock’s promotion hopefuls, Cardiff City.

But Clement remains confident his side will be playing Championship football next season.

“The way the other games went on Tuesday we’re still in the same position but with one game less to play,” he asserted.

“We had the hardest fixture but we pushed a very good team right until the end.

“If we can play with that kind of passion and will to win against Sunderland then we will do well.”

Clement will be sweating over Tyler Blackett’s fitness ahead of Saturday’s clash while skipper Paul McShane and Tommy Elphick have been ruled out.

He will also be without Leandro Bacuna for the next three games after the midfielder’s straight red card at Fulham on Tuesday.

“You don’t know what goes through a player’s mind at that point of the game,” groaned Clement. “A bit of frustration because we’re not getting the result we want or a bit of fatigue so you don’t make clear decisions.

“We have to move on very quickly.”

Bacuna became the third Reading players to be sent off in Clement’s four matches in charge of Royals, a worrying trend the 47-year-old can hardly believe.

“It’s a pretty mad statistic seeing as I never had any reds before at Derby or Swansea City,” he explained. “To have three in four games is bizarre.”

Sunderland have a number of injury concerns of their own with defenders John O'Shea and Adam Matthews both highly doubtful after limping out of their midweek draw against Norwich City.