Reading full-back Nicky Shorey has told his team mates that they need to "buck their ideas up" and improve their displays if they are to have any chance of Premier League survival.
The Royals will face Sunderland on Tuesday, who recently slipped into the relegation zone, but remain four points ahead of Brian McDermott's men. The 31-year-old defender has insisted that his team must get a result if they are to stay in sight of their nearest rivals, and have to show more resolve than they have done recently.
"It concerns me a lot," Shorey told reporters. "There's not a lot else you can say - it concerns me we're down there [in the league table] but we've got to man up and make sure our performances get to the level they need to be because they haven't been.
"We've shown in games we've got the quality and we can score goals but we've got to do it for 90 minutes.
"We feel like we can get something out of every game but not with second half performances like [against Southampton]. Hopefully it'll come. We all know we need to up our game and show a bit more on the ball because it's what this league demands."
The full-back says that opposition teams believe they can easily get a result against the Royals at the moment, and that some new signings in January may increase the squad's competitiveness and help rejuvenate the team's desire to fight for the cause.
He added: "[Sunderland] will be thinking it's a good time to play Reading. That's just the way it is. We're both down there and it's a big game for them and big game for us. Spending money doesn't always get you where you want to be and we need to pull together as a group.
"New players always bring new enthusiasm and will make the players here buck their ideas up a bit and try and push on as well and hopefully we will add a few but we don't need to go silly. The lads have shown we're capable at times."