Reading manager Jaap Stam criticised Barnsley for their defensive attitude in the 0-0 Championship draw at the Madejski Stadium.
In a game of few chances Reading stretched their unbeaten run to five matches, but failed to make the breakthrough against stubborn opponents and slipped to fourth place in the table.
“We had most of the ball and possession, but you should also look at the opposition and see what they’re doing,” Stam said. “What was their intention?
“To get a point. Yes, there you have it. The opponents come here and they play in a certain way.
“Normally, this team [Barnsley] wants to play and wants to go forward playing football.
“But now they come here and they sit, they make it as small and as tight as they can and just wait for that moment to go out on the break.
“You can see at the end of the game that they were happy with a point.
“That’s the thing, most of the time when we play at home, that we need to deal with.
“We created chances and we could have scored goals, but, of course, everyone is disappointed with the result. You want to win your home games.
“Barnsley did what they did well. We gave everything to get the result, but it doesn’t always happen.”
After a poor first half, in which neither side impressed, Reading almost went in front early in the second period.
Chris Gunter crossed from the right and Yann Kermorgant’s fierce first-time effort was well saved by goalkeeper Adam Davies.
Barnsley replied through Marley Watkins, who struck a post from close range, and Adam Hammill, who should have done better, but drove over when finding himself free at the far post.
Reading launched a late rally, but Davies made another fine stop from an effort from Danny Williams.
Barnsley’s outside play-off hopes took a dent as they dropped to 10th place.
“I was pleased with us with the ball and without the ball,” head coach Paul Heckingbottom said. “The bit that was missing was the end product.
“We got in some really good positions in the first half and second half, but, apart from hitting the post, we hit the target only once.
“That was the story of the game for us. We did everything right except for that.
“We approach every game to try to get the win. I know what a good side Reading are, but I honestly believed that we would score.
“Even when they were putting us under pressure, we knew that we would have to defend crosses and we were comfortable doing that and we did it well.
“I knew that we would be strong right to the end.”
Reading: Al Habsi, Gunter, Moore, Blackett, Kelly, Williams, McCleary, Evans, Obita, Kermorgant, Beerens. Subs: Swift, Meite, Popa, Watson, Jaakkola, Oxford, Grabban.
Barnsley: Davies, Yiadom, Roberts, MacDonald, Jones, Watkins, Scowen, James, Hammill, Williams, Bradshaw. Subs: Moncur, Townsend, Evans, Armstrong, Hedges, Elder, Kent.
Referee: Darren Bond (Lancashire)