UNDER-FIRE Reading FC boss Jaap Stam insists the club’s Chinese owners ‘understand’ the reasons for the team’s current slump.

Royals are 18th in the table and four points above the Championship relegation zone after Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to Brentford.

Stam’s men are without a win in eight league games including five defeats and have failed to score in the last three.

It had been rumoured Royals owners Dai Yongge and sister Dai Xiu Li were due to make a rare trip to Berkshire for Saturday’s match at Madejski Stadium before holding talks with Stam.

However, Dutchman Stam was quick to clarify they were not in attendance, though he confirmed there has been recent contact.

“I don’t think they attended on Saturday but I spoke to them last week,” he explained.

“They are worried and of course everybody wants to go up (the table) and win games, nobody more than ourselves.

“We spoke about that but they understand a big part of the situation as well, how it is and eventually what they need to do.”

Bracknell News:

Reading's players looked gutted at the final whistle after the 1-0 defeat to Brentford.

When asked if the owners were concerned about the prospect of relegation to League One, Stam added: “Yes, they probably are, and everybody should be. We’re worried about that as well.

“Everybody needs to step up and get better results.

“But the teams we are playing are not going to say, ‘here you go, have the points,’ you need to work really hard for it.”

Reading’s last Championship victory came in a 3-1 success at Sunderland on December 2.

Since then they have suffered five defeats in eight, winless games including home losses to basement boys Burton Albion – who were thrashed 6-0 at Fulham on Saturday – and relegation-threatened Birmingham City.

Stam’s men also drew away with Barnsley and Hull City – two teams just below them in the table – in recent weeks.

Royals were booed off the pitch at the final whistle on Saturday with a growing number of supporters suggesting a change of manager is needed.

Bracknell News:

Reading joint-owner Dai Yongge with manager Jaap Stam.

But former Manchester United and Netherlands defender Stam, 45, insists he is not feeling the strain.

“I don’t really feel pressure,” he declared. “Everybody knows how it goes in football and it can end up in a certain way.

“For me it’s about working hard with the players I have to get more out of them if that’s possible.

“It’s not like we feel a certain way because of pressure.”

While Reading’s struggles in the Championship continue, Stam’s men do have an FA Cup fourth-round trip to Sheffield Wednesday to look forward to this Friday (7.45pmko), having beaten Stevenage 3-0 in a replay last week with a Jon Dadi Bodvarsson hat-trick.