Royals boss Mark Bowen said that he was pleased with how his side performed against Cardiff City after the 1-1 draw on Friday evening.

Reading travelled to the Welsh capital for the first of two games in five days at the Cardiff City Stadium and got off to a dream start with Yakou Meite stooping to nod in from close range in the eighth minute.

The hosts responded and put Bowen's men under substantial pressure for the remainder of the game.

The Bluebirds were eventually rewarded for their efforts in the 70th minute, when Callum Paterson was on hand to slam the ball home from inside the six yard box after Michael Morrison's stretching header skewed against the frame of the goal and straight into Paterson's path.

Speaking after the game, Bowen said that he was pleased with how his side responded to a disappointing defeat on Tuesday against Bristol City.

"We were down in our intensity in the 1-0 loss to Bristol City but we gave ourselves a better platform to win the game tonight.

"I was pleased with the way we stood up to the physical challenge - we won the majority of second balls which I was asking my players to do.

"The overriding feeling is when you're in front, wherever you are, you do look at the clock and think with 20 minutes to go to get through it.

"With [Cardiff's goal] all I'm asking for my players is to try and get the first contact. He got that, but it spun off the back off his head and hits the post and comes straight out to their player. I thought it was a little bit unfortunate because we dealt with everyone before that really well.

"Sometimes you can come down here and think you could catch them on a bad day, but they don't seem to have too many bad days! The way they play, you have got to stand up to them.

"It is a hard earned point and you'll take it at a place like this but it hurts because we were in front and wanted three points.

Although Reading remain winless in the league since New Year's Day, Bowen insisted he is more than happy with his sides current form.

"It depends how you look at things - I look at it as we've lost two in 13.

"I hate negativity about the place, why? The players are giving me everything the majority of the time and I'm their biggest critic when they do not.

"When we've not performed like we should have as a group we've always bounced back with a performance."

As aforementioned, Bowen's men will return to the Cardiff City Stadium next Tuesday for their FA Cup fourth round replay - and the boss suggested he may look to play a stronger team than we saw in the first leg.

"We'll keep striving to get there [the play-offs] but if we're not winning games, you do not climb the table.

"I don't know what my team will be yet but I'll certainly be thinking a team that's strong enough to come here and win the game. We've got competition for places now."