The full-time whistle was greeted by boos for the second successive home match - after the Royals fans also missed the chance to escape the bottom three in a 3-0 reverse against Wigan a fortnight ago - and with trips to Manchester United and Arsenal next up, McDermott admitted his side had suffered a major blow.
"We're hurting. We are very much hurting at this moment in time," he said. "It was disappointing today to say the least. It was rough.
"When we got 1-0 up I though we were ready to kick on. We didn't do that and that's cost us.
"We were disappointed with both goals. We've got ourselves into the lead and they've scored virtually straight after.
"We have to hold our hands up. We need to be better and see the game out.
"I know that and the players know that."