Royals boss Veljko Paunovic said that he's 'content' with his sides energetic showing in the 0-0 draw away at Middlesbrough.

In a game dominated by the two defensive units, both teams struggled to create clear-cut chances - with Reading being forced to settle for a point on Teeside.

The result means that Reading's early season winning streak has come to an end, but the Royals stay level on points with table-topping Bristol City, who only sit above Reading due to goals scored.

Speaking after the game, Paunovic said: "I'm never happy when the team doesn't win, but I am contempt with the the hustle, with the spirit and the clean sheet in this game and with the mentality.

"We proved that we go as seriously in every game and push until the end. Credit to their efforts to confront our attacks.

"We are now turning towards our next game, recover our team from this fantastic effort we had today - tomorrow we will assess the fitness situation overall and if there are any knocks or injuries. At this point, we look very good.

"I'm proud of the effort and commitment we had in defence, but also in attack.

"You could see our centre-backs were pushing forward late in the game, Moore and Morrison getting in front of their box.

"Consistently we were attacking and trying to get the win  and that is the mentality we are looking for."

Reading have another six games in a short time period ahead of the next international break, which the Serbian boss acknowledged will be a 'big challenge'.

"We know it's going to be a big challenge and it's a busy calendar we have, but we never complain or put excuses in front of us.

"We embrace the challenges in front of us. We go with our best, and our identity of always wanting to win every single game."

Lucas Joao returned to the starting XI today after his injury lay-off, and Paunovic said that he was pleased with the forwards showing.

"He did his best, as it is always required. In case of the strikers, it's unfortunately always measured by scoring goals. But, he was very good for the team, coming back from the injury that is still fresh. This is something we always have to consider."

Despite a quiet end to the domestic transfer window, Paunovic refused to rule out the possibility of bringing in free agents in the coming weeks. 

"Free agents are free agents. It is an opportunity for us, and we'll explore it and we'll see if it can help the team.

"That is always the goal."