The Gunners head to the Madejski Stadium in major need of a confidence-boosting win after their elimination from the Capital One Cup at the hands of League Two Bradford City during the week.
"But all the players can lead by example. We all have to step up now, it's a tough time but we have to stick together and be united.
"A lot of people are criticising the manager at the moment, but there will be a time when they look at the players and ask questions of us. We don't want that, so we have to step up and be counted.
"We have to get the result, that's the main thing. We know it won't be easy, especially having just lost at Bradford.
"As soon as we lose the ball (at Reading) we have to win it back. As long as we have possession, the opposition can't score. That's where we start from, and then when we create chances we've got to score them."