Reading manager Paul Ince admitted his players were “out on their feet” towards the end of their dull 1-1 Championship draw with Hull.
Hull went in front in the 26th minute through Regan Slater but Andy Carroll levelled just before the interval with his seventh goal of the season.
Neither side impressed in the second half, though Hull provided more energy than the hosts, and the game drifted towards a drab draw.
Reading have now won just twice in 13 league outings.
Ince said: “It’s important we understand we’ve had four tough games before this one. And against some top teams.
“You could see that, even after 65-70 minutes, the lads were out on their feet. They looked absolutely knackered.
“But I’m proud of them because they just kept going and that’s all you can do at this stage of the season.
“It’s more about stopping the rot after you’ve lost four matches on the bounce. It’s nice to pick up a point again.
“If we’d lost, from a confidence point of view, then it’s the worst thing in the world, especially going into an international break.
“To be honest, that’s a point gained, of course it is. I thought we started a bit slowly but, when we conceded the first goal, that gave us a kick up the backside and we kind of got into gear.
“We caused a lot of trouble down their left and right but it was just that last little bit that was missing.
“We got our first goal at a great time, just before the break. That’s always a good time to get a goal. It just lifted everybody.
“In the second half, it was a case of ‘who is going to get the winning goal?’ The next goal was always going to be the winner.
“There were a couple of skirmish moments but it was a point and, for me, that was a fair result.”
Hull have failed to win on their travels in six matches and head coach Liam Rosenior was booked at the end of the game for remarks made to referee Gavin Ward.
He said: “That was two points dropped, massively. I thought we dominated and controlled every aspect of the game.
“But we gave away a really cheap goal just before half-time.
“I’m really frustrated because the players are showing their development and their improvement.
“In terms of what I want in control and dominance, we had all of that in the game.
“We should have won by two or three goals but were not clinical enough.
“At the same time, you want the referee to do his job and see things that are crystal clear in terms of his decisions. I’m really frustrated about that. Let’s leave it at that.
“We gifted Reading a goal and we have to cut that out.
“The players have been brilliant for me in my time here and there is a clear development in their play.
“But they have to believe in themselves a little bit more, especially when we get into the final third.
“Home or away, the mentality has to be – you go 1-0 up, you go for the second goal. I felt Reading were there for the taking.”
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