READING FC boss Jaap Stam claimed both Middlesbrough goals were avoidable during his side’s 2-1 defeat at the Riverside.

Boro’s Adama Traore scored either side of the break to put the home side in command on Saturday.

And while on-loan Derby striker Chris Martin reduced the deficit with his first goal in Reading colours, it was too little too late.

Relegation-threatened Reading have now lost four of their last five Championships matches, have won just one of their last 12 and are four points above the drop zone.

And Stam let his frustration out after another setback against a Boro side who secured their first home win under Tony Pulis.

“We analysed their team and how they play,” stated under-fire Stam. “We know they have physicality and want to play football, sometimes direct.

“We dealt with their long throws quite well and they didn’t create a lot of opportunities in the first half.

“But there were a couple of situations in the build-up to the first goal where we should have done better in blocking the ball or tackling.

“We couldn’t double up on Traore and he got that shot on target, we could have avoided that one.”

Local Berkshire:

Reading players remonstrate after conceding a penalty against Middlesbrough on Saturday.

He added: “We spoke at half-time about how we could use the space better which we were getting.

“But then we gave another goal away with a loose pass. It makes it very difficult to get back into the game.

“It’s not the first time I’ve said that and it’s quite frustrating how we’re conceding goals.

“The opportunities the opposition were getting came from our mistakes - that’s a thing that I don’t like. It happens, but it makes it difficult to get back into the game and to get the points you need.”

Martin gave Royals hope of salvaging something from the game when he rifled home from 20 yards in the 78th minute.

It was one of only two shots on target Stam’s men could muster during another depressing afternoon, despite enjoying 59 per cent possession.

“We got that goal and you’re hoping to push for the second one,” stated the Reading boss. “It looked promising, they came out occasionally but couldn’t do a lot.

“This season, we’ve played many games where it looks promising, but we concede goals too easily.”

Meanwhile, Pulis argued his Boro side should have won by a bigger margin after seeing Grant Leadbitter hit the post from a free-kick when the score was 2-0 and Britt Assombalonga sky a penalty into the stands after Dave Edwards had tripped Traore in the closing stages.

Local Berkshire:

Reading midfielder Joey van den Berg competes with Middlesbrough captain Grant Leadbitter.

“I'm pleased with the win, but obviously disappointed that we've not taken our chances,” said Pulis.

“Don't think there's any question that when Adama gets a second goal we should have won when you miss a penalty and Patrick Bamford misses from about six yards out on the angle. Grant Leadbitter hits the post and somehow it comes out, so it should have been five there.

"When it's 2-0 the opposition only have to score once and you can end up throwing it away even though you've been dominant in the game. There are certain things we have to do better.”

Stam and the first-team squad will fly to Spain tomorrow for five days of warm-weather training in a bid to halt his team’s worrying slide.

Royals are without a fixture this weekend due to Sheffield United’s FA Cup involvement and return to action on Tuesday, February 20 when they go to Nottingham Forest for a vital six-pointer.