Reading: Jaap Stam calls for fan unity in Championship run-in

Reading manager Jaap Stam
Jaap Stam saw his side denied a win at Nottingham Forest five minutes from time

Reading manager Jaap Stam has called on supporters to unite behind his team in the Championship run-in.

The Royals were denied victory at Nottingham Forest on Tuesday by a late Lee Tomlin equaliser and have won just once in their past 12 league games.

Reading are four points above the relegation zone with 14 matches left.

"We're as frustrated as the fans if not more, but we need them to be our 12th or 13th man to help push us forward," Stam told BBC Radio Berkshire.

The Dutchman has endured an uneasy relationship with Reading supporters in his second season in charge following their run to the play-off final last season.

Their only league victories since early November came against relegation-threatened Barnsley, Sunderland and Burton.

"It's not just me who needs to cry out to them (supporters) to support us, but the fans also know what they need to do," Stam said.

"If the fans back us, everyone feels more comfortable in their performance on the pitch.

"But, if your own fans are booing you, shouting and calling out certain things, the players take that on board. They're experienced professionals, but even at the absolute top level, players hear what fans say."

Reading host promotion contenders Derby at home on Saturday, a side they upset at Pride Park in November with a 4-2 win.

Stam believes supporters can play their part in replicating that result and forcing a change in fortunes.

"They were there for us in good times last season and we need them now more than ever," he said. "I like people to be honest every time.

"We know that we need each other and if that's not working out at the end of the day, we need to do something different."

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