Caretaker Manchester City manager Brian Kidd said Roberto Mancini's sacking has rocked the club, even as they secured a second-place finish in the English Premier League.
City overcame their FA Cup final defeat to Wigan Athletic by beating relegated Reading 2-0 at Madejski Stadium to guarantee they end the season second only to local rivals Manchester United.
Goals from Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko were enough to finish the hosts as City began life without Mancini with a win. But Kidd, Manchester's assistant manager, said the Italian's departure had been tough to take.
"I got to be honest, if you were to ask me after what has gone in the last 48 hours, it has all come as a shock to the staff," Kidd said. "I would have just taken the result tonight. If you had said before the game we would get three points to claim second place I would have accepted that the way the last 48 hours have gone.
"It is not about me. I have just come in and been asked to take the team for these two games. I am a Manchester lad and how can I say no? We are not greedy, but we don't have to qualify for the Champions League now and that is the least we should have done this season."
Mancini, who last year led the club to their first top-flight title in 44 years, was sacked on Monday after losing to Wigan, who have been relegated, in the FA Cup final at Wembley.
"All credit to the players. They have had to have put up with a lot of stuff [since Sunday] and it would have been a travesty if we had not finished second," Kidd said. "We appreciate the fans, they would have been so disappointed on Saturday, but we have come back for them tonight."
City fans sang Mancini's name after their hero had been sacked a year to the day since bringing the title to the Etihad Stadium. Kidd thanked the supporters for backing the players.
"I am really grateful to the fans for their support," he added. "They must have been so disappointed at Wembley. But they really came out tonight and you could really hear them and I am really pleased for them.
The Royals could still finish at the bottom after the defeat, but they had goalkeeper Alex McCarthy in excellent form once again as they look to take some positives from what has been a disappointing season.
Coach Nigel Adkins said he was impressed with McCarthy's performances, but added he must improve in some areas.
"He made some excellent saves and he has demonstrated that now on a few times," Adkins said.
"We believe he can be a top-four keeper and be at international level, and if you can play out from the back he can do that.
"I'm sure there will be lots of speculation, but we are in a good position in respect of the finances and there is good stability. We're not looking to lose Alex and are looking to build for the future."