PHIL Parkinson admitted the odds were always stacked against City pulling off one more FA Cup shock to make it to Wembley.

The players are back in training this morning aiming to blow away the frustration from Monday's quarter-final exit at the Madejski and focus on recharging their bid for the League One play-offs.

But as City look ahead to Saturday's home clash with Fleetwood, Parkinson reflected on the 3-0 loss and said: "A lot was weighted in Reading's favour.

"To achieve a cup upset, which ultimately we would have to do again, you need everything to go in your way.

"A lot of things went in Reading's favour, from completely resting their team on the Saturday, having a home fixture, being able to play their strongest side and then getting off to a terrific start.

"We knew from watching them that they are a strong, powerful team who are under-achieving in the Championship.

"We didn't play like we can but I think the two games against us were the best Reading have played all season. They have not got the league to worry about, so the FA Cup is all that mattered to them.

"You think back to the Sunderland game, when they'd just been beaten by QPR on the Tuesday before. We almost smelled blood. It was similar with Millwall, who had lost the game before against Blackpool."

City estimate they have made around £1.7million from the FA Cup, plus the Leeds game in the Capital One, which will leave them with a profit of £750,000 after covering the projected overspend for the season.

Parkinson believes City and their fans can still look back with pride on the club's best FA Cup run since 1976 and how they got to the last eight.

He said: "We didn't want to go out and tried everything we could to progress. Now we've just got to move on and take some fantastic memories.

"We've played in front of packed houses three or four times; real sell-out crowds. It's incredible when you look back. It's obviously disappointing when you go out at the quarter-final stage but we've got to put it into context."

With 11 games to go, City are four points off the top six but still have to play many of the teams around them.

Parkinson said: "It's going to be hard. There are two places up for grabs and a lot of teams chasing them.

"But the teams around us, the likes of Fleetwood, Doncaster, Gillingham, Peterborough and Barnsley, have had nothing else to contend with. We've had these huge cup games.

"Ask any manager around the country how hard that is and the fact we've been able to tick along in the league before and after such high-profile games is something I'm so pleased with.

"Lower league clubs playing in the FA Cup are always up against it and I think the lads have been brilliant. I'm proud to still be within touching distance of the top six."