Reading caretaker manager Eamonn Dolan admits he was surprised by last week's sacking of Brian McDermott after defeat at Manchester United.

The Royals are now seven points adrift of safety and without a manager, following Brian McDermott's dismissal at the beginning of the week.

"No-one was more surprised than me," said Dolan.

"It is well documented that Brian is a good friend of mine but the decision was made and we move forward."

Reading did not create many chances. But they still left lamenting referee Lee Mason's refusal to award a spot-kick for Nemanja Vidic's clear push on Adrian Mariappa inside the area at the start of the second half.

"It was a clear penalty but I think the referee thought I was on work experience and 'perfect a little 1-0 loss for Reading' and would be fine," he said.

"I wouldn't have expected that from the referee but what can you do?"