READING FC boss Jaap Stam played down his side's 3-1 victory over Nottingham Forest by claiming they played better in the weekend's defeat to Middlesbrough.

Royals outclassed Forest for most of the night at Madejski Stadium after what many felt was their best display for some weeks.

But Stam, who was under increasing pressure after one win in eight and four defeats in five before tonight, argued Royals were not as good as they were against Boro on Saturday when they lost 2-0 at home.

"It's important every time you win," he declared. "You want to make steps as a team and put points on the table.

"But if I'm honest the football we played against Middlesbrough was better than today, but we didn't win.

"When you do win people think you are playing better football which is not the case in my opinion."

John Swift gave Reading commanding 2-0 lead with his first goals of the seaason.

The Chelsea midfielder fired the hosts in front in the 13th minute then added a second on 70 minutes to leave the visitors with a mountain to climb.

Royals wrapped up the points in the 78th minute when Sone Aluko's cross-shot went in off Forest keeper Jordan Smith for a soft own goal.

Ben Osborn did pull one back four minutes from time, but Royals - who had Vito Mannone to thank for a string of outstanding saves - got home thanks to a stylish performance overall.

Yet Stam denied he was feeling the pressure after just one league win since August.

"It's not like I need to feel relieved (with the result)," he stressed. "In the last games we've played we haven't had the results we wanted.

"We played well in the majority of games in terms of how I look at football, but quite a few times we haven't had results.

"People think you are not playing well, but that's not the case.

"We did well tonight, worked very hard again and scored the goals we needed to.

"It's a compliment to the team that that still have confidence in what we are doing and what we need to do to win games.

"The confidence was always there and we're very happy with the result."

Royals burst out of the traps and had a number of efforts on goal before Swift broke the deadlock with first-time finish after superb work from Mo Barrow down the right.

Swift then started and finished off his side's second, helped by an audacious chip by Barrow over Forest's back-tracking defence.

Aluko forced Smith into the mistake that led to Reading's third before Osborn's late consolation.

Stam added: "We started quickly, it's what we're always trying to do but sometimes you can't because the opposition block everything or intercept passes.

"But our intention is always to go forward and have as many shots as we can.

"However, you are always playing against very good teams."

Stam also praised two-goal Swift, whose season so far has been held back by niggling injuries.

"He's been very unlucky in recent weeks with injuries," he said. "Every time he tried to get back into it something happened.

"He's been training well but he needed to be match fit. Now he's looking fresh and sharp and today he scored two very important goals for us."