The Berkshire club won the Championship in style last year but are preparing for life in the second tier again after claiming just six wins over the season.
Nigel Adkins was unable to prevent Reading's demise after replacing the sacked Brian McDermott in March but McAnuff believes the former Southampton boss has laid the foundation for success next term.
"It has been overwhelmingly disappointing," McAnuff said. "We feel we should have got a better points haul than we have done.
"Of course, the goal was to stay up and we have not achieved that so ultimately it is very disappointing.
"I think you can see in our performances that progress has been made (under
Adkins). From our point of view, I think it is a positive that we have had that time to work with him before the start of next year when we can hit the deck running.
"He has had time to feel us out and vice-versa. He knows what he is going to need over the summer and what we are capable of so I think that will help us
going into next season.
"We've got players that know how to get out of the league and that the Championship is as much about the mental side as the physical.
"We know what the demands are going to be and feel we will have a fighting chance next year, especially with the time we have had under the new gaffer."
McAnuff is one of several key players linked with a summer exit but despite rumoured interest from QPR and Cardiff, the Royals skipper says he is happy at the Madejski Stadium.
"I am happy here," McAnuff added. "I have been here a very long time now and feel really settled at the club.
"My immediate thought is to try and get back in the Premier League with Reading and have a good year next year after what has been a disappointing one this year."