ON A bitterly cold night, Reading won their first Championship game in four attempts.

We had most of the ball (61%) in the first half against Barnsley and deserved to be 2-0 up. We gave up a little more of the possession after the break (52%), but still won the second half 1-0 thanks to Jon Dadi Bodvarsson.

With the first unchanged side this season, Jaap Stam gave stability and consistency chance, and it paid off.

However, it was by no means an attractive performance.

If you overlook possession statistics, the low number of yellow cards and the high-scoring clean sheet, you can pick up on the lack of creativity and the desperately-missing clinical finishing.

Royals had 11 shots on goal with just four on target. This simply isn’t good enough.

We cannot expect to climb back into the top half of the table with so few goalscoring strikers.

We miss last year’s Yann Kermorgant and, while Bodvarsson looks promising, he hasn’t lived up to his potential just yet.

We also need to stop giving the ball away in midfield. We were lucky Barnsley weren’t the strongest of opposing teams. When we face the likes of Hull, Middlesbrough and Wolves we will be punished on the counter-attack.

Individual performances were reasonably good on Tuesday. No single player stood out as having a bad game.

Sone Aluko went missing before being substituted and Kermorgant contributed little.

Yet, it’s been said that if you win when not playing at your best, it is a sign of a good team.

We travel to Sunderland on Saturday. Their new manager Chris Coleman will be hungry for three points.

Despite their struggles this season, former Royals loanee Lewis Grabban has been in decent form for Black Cats, scoring 10 goals in 15 appearances.

Liam Moore and Paul McShane will need to keep a watchful eye on the striker who will be looking to continue the trend of ex-Reading players scoring against us.

But I’m optimistically predicting a 2-0 win for Royals.