JAAP Stam admits Reading FC will have to do it the hard way to put a winning run together in the Championship.

Royals had lost four of their previous five games including back-to-back-defeats to promotion-chasing Sheffield United and Middlesbrough before Tuesday night’s clash with Nottingham Forest.

But Stam’s men put on one of their best displays for several weeks to secure a 3-1 victory thanks to a John Swift brace and Jordan Smith own goal.

However, any optimism was quickly tempered by a dose of reality from the Dutchman himself.

Reading’s next two leagues match couldn’t be much tougher as they face a trip to sixth-placed Derby County this Saturday (3pm ko) followed by a home clash with big-spending leaders Wolves after a fortnight’s international break.

Bracknell News:

John Swift celebrates after firing Royals in front against Nottingham Forest on Tuesday.

And Stam, whose side lie 20th in the table after two wins in nine, is expecting few favours from their opponents given the unpredictable nature of the Championship.

“You always want to keep that momentum of winning games, but it is not easy,” said the Royals boss.

“We need to understand we are facing very good teams like Nottingham Forest who play very good football.

“Middlesbrough is a very good team, they just came down from the Premier League, while Derby are always going for promotion every season in terms of how they have invested.

“We are trying to get there but we are not in a place to say we need to go up straight away this season, or because of last season we need to finish third again.

“We need to work very hard to get results, and it’s not easy for us.

“We go to Derby on Saturday and of course we will go for it again and try to get that result. They will make it difficult for us, though after this win on Tuesday hopefully we will go there with confidence.”

Bracknell News:

Yann Kermorgant and John Swift embrace after Royals defeated Nottingham Forest 3-1.

Rumous were rife that Stam’s position as Reading manager was under threat after a poor start to the campaign, and that the Dutchman had been given a handful of games in which to turn things around.

But the former Manchester United and Netherlands defender hit back by insisting there is nothing but harmony behind the scenes.

“Within the club we believe in what we’re doing going forward to eventually get another opportunity to maybe finish in the top six and have another shot at the Premier League,” he declared.