JOSE Gomes highlighted the improvement in performances of his Reading FC side – but accepted it is victories they need to ease their relegation worries.

Royals travel to Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow for Steve Bruce’s first match in charge of the home side (3pm ko).

Gomes’ men remain in the relegation zone with one win in seven league games under the Portuguese boss, scoring only five goals.

And though he believed Reading are heading in the right direction, he knows time is running out with 16 games to go.

Here, the Reading manager addresses his side’s shortfalls and gives an injury update going into the clash against the Owls at Hillsborough.

He said: “We have improved a lot of stats and have reduced the number of goals we concede, even with our 4-1 defeat to Swansea.

“We have increased our shots on goal, our ball possession from 49 to 60 per cent, we have increased our points average over these seven games.

“But it is not enough, we need to win. However, we have three clean sheets in those seven games compared to the previous manager Paul Clement who kept two clean sheets in 20 games.

“The players are showing very good signs and that is important for the points we will collect in the future, but it is not enough.

“We need to score goals and win more games. Of course we can look at the past 10 seasons in terms of how many points we need to be in a safe position and there is a big difference. If we win the next match we will hopefully be out of the bottom three.”

Gomes also pointed to the areas in which Reading can improve, saying: “We are making very good movements with players giving others a lot of support which gives us more possession.

“But only one player sometimes is making movement against the defensive line which we must increase, then we can start scoring more goals.”

Bruce will finally take charge of Sheffield Wednesday, having delayed his start in order to watch the beginning England’s cricket tour of the West Indies.

The former Manchester United defender needed time away from football following a difficult year off the pitch.

“They are a good team and like all Championship matches it will be very tough,” added Gomes.

“When a new manager comes in sometimes players give more on the pitch, so it will be hard. But we cannot focus on the manager, we must play hard on the pitch and fight for each ball to win the game. We need to find a way to win.”

Injury update

Striker Nelson Oliveira has been ruled out of Saturday’s clash after suffering a gruesome facial injury in last weekend’s 0-0 draw with Aston Villa.

However, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson is set to return up front following the birth of his child.

Garath McCleary should be fit having missed part of training this week with flu, though Ovie Ajaria is touch and go after a bout of sickness.

Royals also host Blackburn Rovers at Madejski Stadium next Wednesday night, and Gomes stated: “We must put all our energy into Sheffield Wednesday then after the game see what happens. If we start looking at too many things you cannot give your 100 per cent focus to the most important thing which is getting three points against Sheffield Wednesday.”

Meanwhile, Reading keeper Vito Mannone looks set to seal a loan move to MLS side Minnesota United.

Gomes said: “He is out of my options. I know he and his agent are trying to find a solution because he deserved it. Officially I cannot say anything.”

Mannone has been told he can leave following the loan signing of Arsenal keeper Emiliano Martinez.