READING FC boss Jaap Stam gave a frank assessment of Royals’ season so far as his side prepare to face Burton Albion this afternoon.

The Dutchman bemoaned Royals’ lowly league position and said he would have expected to be higher up the table than they are.

Royals sit 14th in the Championship table and could rise to 11th place with a win against the Brewers, depending on results elsewhere.

But 45-year-old Stam admitted Reading have been below par this season and stressed he would welcome some fresh faces to the squad in January.

“I would have hoped we would have a couple more points than we do,” stressed Stam.

“I knew it wasn’t going to be like last season, I always said it was going to be more difficult because the league is changing.

“Teams have become stronger and you have teams coming down from the Premier League, as well as the teams that came down last season and didn’t go back up.

“With us, we had players leaving and other players coming in. We started pre-season with a lot of youngsters because we hadn’t bought many players in.

“We’ve had injuries which made it difficult to build the team and the squad. It’s not the most ideal situation but we need to make the most of it.

“There is still a long way to go and we can still pick up a lot of points to climb up the table.”

Royals face Bristol City on Boxing Day before a trip to Barnsley on December 30.

And Stam’s attention is already on the January transfer window when he hopes to lure some fresh faces to Madejski Stadium.

He added: “We have a plan.

“We need to have extra players in the squad with certain abilities.

“They might not come straight into the first team but we need to improve the squad.

“But it’s all down to the owners and Ron and Brian to see if we can do something this winter.

“We need to look at the loan market. It’s not about getting players in because of numbers.

“They need to be an asset to the squad. They need to make us better which is not easy.

“If you want players with ability then you need to pay a lot of money. I don’t know if that can happen in January.”