JOEY van den Berg has called on Reading FC players and fans to bring the fear factor back to Madejski Stadium.

Royals sit in a below-par 20th place in the Sky Bet Championship table after a lacklustre start to the campaign.

And 31-year-old van den Berg said Reading have been the masters of their own downfall after committing needless mistakes on the pitch.

He said Royals are struggling to adapt to matchday situations and he wants teams to fear travelling to Berkshire once again.

“We have to make Madejski our home again, when everyone comes with fear and leaves with zero points,” he asserted.

“Hopefully the fans and everyone associated with the club will back us up and help make that happen.

“Every help we can get is very useful. I’m confident that we can do it.

“There is no lack of confidence within the club, but it has to be done.”

Royals picked up a rare away win when they beat Leeds United at Elland Road two weeks ago.

But they failed to make it two on the bounce when they slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Bramall Lane on Saturday.

And midfielder van den Berg said Royals are making too many mistakes on the pitch.

“We’re struggling to recognise what is necessary during games,” he stressed.

“Sometimes we can’t take what we’ve been doing in training into the match.

“You hope you learn from it and you don’t do it again, but there have been quite a few occasions when we keep repeating mistakes. Hopefully we’ve had a wake-up call now.

“Teams wait for our mistakes and they punish us very hard.

“Last year we had some unbelievable last-minute wins or Ali (Al-Habsi) would pull off a late save.

“This year it seems like every shot on target against us is a goal.

“That’s nobody’s fault, it’s just our bad luck. We’ve had our fair share, so now it’s up to us to create our own luck.”

Royals entertain Garry Monk’s Middlesbrough on Saturday afternoon (3pm).

Boro have won just one more game than Royals this season and sit in 13th place.