Reading boss Jaap Stam says his side didn’t give a good account of themselves during their 2-1 defeat at Sheffield United this afternoon.
Third-placed United made it four wins from their last five Sky Bet Championship games with goals from Paul Coutts and Billy Sharp, although Roy Beerens pulled one back late on to set up a tense final ten minutes.
The opening goal came in the 19th minute when Leon Clarke's shot was cleared only as far as Coutts, who fired into the roof of the net from 20 yards out.
United increased their lead in the 37th minute when Mark Duffy broke free on the right-hand side of the area and his ball across the face of goal was tapped in by Sharp from close range.
Beerens (85) scored to set up an interesting finish, sweeping the ball home after being set up by Modou Barrow.
And Stam said: "It was disappointing because we didn't play in the first half how we should do. If you don't do that, you're making it difficult for yourself and a bit easier for the opposition.
"We knew that we were going to be facing a good team and a team in form, playing in a certain way, with a lot of movement if you give them time.
"If you don't do anything about that, they get into their rhythm and they can make it difficult for you. That is what happened, especially in the first half.
"They scored two good goals and we couldn't go forward because we weren't taking the initiative on the ball.
"It's difficult for us to get into a certain rhythm of winning games. If you are not consistent, it's difficult to get into your stride.
"We really need to improve a lot to perform better. I'm not concerned because there's a long way to go and a lot of games to play. In this league, anything can happen."