Reading chief Nicky Hammond has called for unity as they battle against relegation.
"We've been used to our period of success, now it's difficult, it happens," he said on the club's official website.
"It's a massive challenge, and as Steve has rightly said, every time this team has been challenged they've risen to it. I'm sure they will again. It will go to very late in the season, probably everyone in the bottom half is not safe right now.
"We were very solid at Everton. I listened to Steve after the game and he was upbeat. He's usually a great measure, the fans know he's a realist, never too good and never too bad. That fact he was so upbeat was a good sign.
"The strength of this club is togetherness, right from the board down to the people working in the offices. That will see us through, allied to the ability and some courage from the players.
"Steve has shown enormous faith in the players, and I'm confident they will repay that.
"Our new players are starting to step up, and we're getting the boys back from the [African] Cup of Nations. Sonko played Saturday and let's not forget he had a massive, massive injury.
"These are tough times, and we've not had that in the last couple of years so it's been a shock to the system.
"As Steve has said, it's a great challenge. If we can come through it, it will give us a solid foundation to move forward again."