Reading came up against a very classy side in Fulham, definitely the best opposition I have seen against the Royals so far this season.

They have top players all over the pitch in Tom Cairney, Stefan Johansen, Anthony Knockaert and Aleksandar Mitrovic. This quarter would grace a lot of sides in the Premier League.

The time and space Cairney was afforded for the opening goal was simply too much for a player of his calibre and the second and third goals saw the visitors unstitch the Royals defence with ease.

Cairney added another impressive finish for the fourth goal after a mistake by Liam Moore but could things have been different had John Swift stayed on the pitch?

Swift has arguably been Reading's best player this term and he and Ovie Ejaria make this side tick. They are gifted footballers and early on, the signs were promising with Yakou Meite being denied by a superb save from Marcus Bettinelli.

However, Swift was 'swiftly' booked for a challenge in front of the dugouts. The Fulham players surrounded the referee, baying for a straight red.

It looked like a hard challenge but certainly not a red. Early on in a game on a wet surface, you would hope a strong referee might say "another one of those and you will be booked" but he seemed swayed by the visitors and a yellow was awarded.

Minutes later, Swift got his marching orders. Once again, the pitch played a part and it looked like the midfielder slipped into the tackle which made it look worse than it really was.

For a player who hasn't been sent off in his career before, you would think the referee would realise he isn't a malicious player and used a bit of sense in this instance.

The sending off knocked the stuffing out of Reading's lively start and Fulham controlled the game for the remainder of the half.

To their credit, the Royals battled manfully in the second half and kept it to 1-1 in the latter 45 minutes with a wonder goal from Meite a deserved consolation for their endeavour.

The Bristol City game on Saturday is now massive ahead of the international break. Jose Gomes made his intentions clear at the final whistle with he and his players in a huddle on the pitch and the Portuguese was very animated.

A win against the Robins would be the perfect tonic to head into the international break with.