CHRIS Gunter backed Reading FC manager Jaap Stam's plea for his players to work on their decision making.

Royals boss Stam was fuming with his side's performance in their 1-0 defeat to Brentford on Saturday afternoon and urged his players to cut out needless mistakes.

Disgruntled supporters have blasted Reading's style of play over the course of the season and called for an urgent change.

But Dutchman Stam insisted his players have the freedom to play the ball long or short, but stressed they need to make better decisions on the pitch.

And Welsh international Gunter echoed the manager's concerns.

"It's an individual decision," stressed Gunter.

"We are a possession-based team but if there are times when we need to play it long then we need to recognise those situations better on the pitch.

"Things happen too quickly on football. It's not as if the manager is stood there with a Playstation controller. It's up to the player on the pitch to do it because there's not enough time to react.

"We all know what we need to do, we have been together for more than 18 months and we know the different teams and styles we are up against.

"They either press us really high up and try and disrupt us that way or they sit in and hit us on the break."

Fellow Royals defender Tiago Ilori recently stated that Royals will not change their approach despite sitting just five points away from the Championship drop-zone.

And 28-year-old Gunter stressed Reading do not want to switch to route-one football.

He added: "We know what we should and need to be doing but over the course of the season there have been times when we have done it well but we haven't done it consistently enough.

"Sometimes it can look like we have one set style but whenever you're not getting results as much as you would like then it can look like that.

"If you're on ball and you give the ball away everybody will say 'well player A gave the ball away'.

Bracknell News:

Chris Gunter in action for Reading FC.

"But you have to look at why he gave the ball away, maybe he didn't have anything on.

"You look at last season at the Wigan game. They pressed us really high and we scored our first two goals by playing Garath McCleary over the top with long balls.

"That was different the week after when we played someone who sat in and we couldn't play those long balls.

"It's not a case of one style fits all. Every situation through the game is different, wherever you find yourself on the pitch.

"The good thing with this manager is that he gives you the freedom to make that decision. We don't just want to kick it into the corners and kick it forward."

Reading are without a win in eight Championship games including five defeats and are 18th in the table, just four points above the relegation zone.

Stam's men turn their attention to the FA Cup this Friday and a fourth-round trip to Sheffield Wednesday (7.45pm ko).