READING gave their Championship play-off chances a boost with a 4-2 victory over Leeds United and former manager Brian McDermott last night.

Garath McCleary put the visitors ahead after a defensive error and Royston Drenthe’s free-kick doubled the lead early in the second half.

Nick Blackman’s diving header from Danny Guthrie’s cross and Hal Robson-Kanu’s half-volley had the Royals 4-0 up with 54 minutes on the clock.

Leeds briefly threatened a comeback, Matt Smith and Rodolph Austin reducing the deficit to two goals, but Reading held on for an important win.

Royals manager Nigel Adkins said: “They were three very valuable points. We were excellent in the first half and the place was really bouncing towards the end, but we showed great character to defend because they really went for it.”

The result leaves Reading sixth in the table, just one point behind fifth-placed Nottingham Forest, as they prepare for a tough trip to high-flying Derby County on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).