Steve Clarke: Reading fans' reaction 'quite right'

Steve Clarke (right)
Steve Clarke's side are now just one point off sixth-placed Birmingham after the win against Bolton

Reading manager Steve Clarke says the Reading fans got their reaction "quite right" following his decision to turn down an approach from Fulham.

The Scot held talks with the Royals' Championship rivals this week but, after opting to stay, saw his side beat Bolton 2-1 on Saturday.

"The reception was cool but nothing more. They got behind the team, which is all we ask for," said Clarke.

"I don't think the Fulham talks had any effect on the players."

The victory over Neil Lennon's Wanderers, who are now at the foot of the Championship table, was Reading's first in six matches.

But the former West Brom boss still believes his side, who are seventh, can compete for promotion this season.

"We're desperate to stay in and around the upper levels of the league and challenge for promotion," he said.

"It was a big win for us after five games without a win. It was really important to us today."

And Clarke told BBC Radio Berkshire that they had former Bolton keeper Ali Al-Habsi to thank for managing to claim victory.

"We started a little bit tentatively. Ali was great, made some terrific saves for us, gave us a chance to get a foothold in the game and once we got a foothold we got to half-time with a nice 2-0 lead.

"To be honest it's probably one of our poorest performances of the season but the performance was secondary to the result.

"The players knew that to keep in touch with the teams at the top, we had to pick up three points today."