MORE than a quarter of the seats at Madejski Stadium have been empty when Reading FC have played this season, statistics have revealed.

But Royals boss Jaap Stam insisted he is not concerned about Royals' low attendance record compared to other teams in the Championship.

Reading's average attendance so far this season is 17,233, which means 6,928 seats, more than 28 per cent for the stadium's capacity, are left spare.

Royals currently sit in 20th place in the Championship table but Dutchman Stam stressed the attendances were also poor when Reading soared up to third place last season.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow's (Saturday) fixture against Middlesbrough, he said: "It's always nice to play at home,"

"When you play at home the players get a different feeling, a different sensation.

"The attendance doesn't concern me because it was the same as last season.

"Last season we did well and we had like 17,000 people at the stadium.

"I said at the time it is how it is.

"Of course everyone wants to have the stadium packed.

"We're very happy with the people who do come to see us.

"The only thing we can do is do well, get results and then hopefully more people will show up."

Reading's lowest league attendance this year was recorded as 14,226, according to

Midfielder Joey van den Berg urged supporters to back the team this week and help make Madejski Stadium a fortress.

Tickets are still available for tomorrow's clash with Garry Monk's Boro (3pm KO).