Reading manager Brian McDermott has called for unity after dropping deeper into the relegation mire, but insists the club are in a "great situation" compared to when he took charge three years ago.

The Royals are now four points adrift in the Barclays Premier League drop zone after going down 1-0 at fellow strugglers Aston Villa on Tuesday through Christian Benteke's late goal. With a home clash against leaders Manchester United next on the horizon, the picture does not get any brighter, but McDermott has the situation in perspective.

"We have to stick together now. It is really important we do that as a group, as fans," he said.

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