Caretaker manager Eamonn Dolan is unsure whether he will remain in charge of Reading beyond this weekend's trip to Manchester United.
Dolan, formerly the head of the Royals' academy, was handed the temporary reins after Brian McDermott was sacked on Monday.
"It's been a difficult week for everybody," Dolan said. "The players were on the floor at the start of the week. The owner has asked me to take the team on Saturday. That's my only thought. That's the honest answer."
McDermott's three-year tenure was ended, along with his assistant Nigel Gibbs, by Reading owner Anton Zingarevich following a four-game losing run that has left the club above last-placed QPR on goals scored only.
With nine games remaining there is little time to find a replacement, with former Southampton boss Nigel Adkins and ex-Swindon manager Paolo Di Canio installed as the early favourites to take over.
Dolan fronted the media for the first time on Thursday and, as well as refusing to be drawn on who might be tasked with leading the club's relegation fight, he also said he did not know if a new appointment was likely to be made before the next trip to Arsenal on March 30.
Dolan denied Zingarevich would play a part in picking the team for this weekend's trip to Old Trafford - albeit after a long pause - adding: "Obviously not. He's asked me to pick the team.
"He's talked to me about the team and trying to get a result - genuinely that is all he has said. I'm excited about going to Old Trafford. Really excited about that."
Dolan has been in regular contact with McDermott since he was axed and revealed the former boss had a simple message for the squad ahead of the trip to Old Trafford.
"Brian is a great friend of mine. I've spoken to him each day," he said. "He's a great man. All he has said is: 'Good luck, get a result'. All he wants is for Reading to get a result."