The Royals were thumped 3-0 at home on Saturday as their winless run was extended to five matches.
With nine goals conceded in their last four games, Adkins admits that Reading must improve at the back if they want to challenge for the playoffs.
"It's all about what you do in both penalty areas. You've got to be ruthless in one and resilient in the other, but for all the positive stuff going on for us, it's a bad scoreline," he is quoted as saying by BBC Sport.
"You can't hide away from that or gloss over it because it's about winning games of football. You can't concede the goals we've conceded. It's becoming a repetitive theme and we've got to sort it out."
Reading are back in action on Tuesday when they travel to Bournemouth in the Championship.