Boss pleased with home display but disappointed win didn't come our way“We created the better chances, played the better football, we had possession, energy and we deserved more," manager Jaap Stam began his assessment after today's 2-2 draw with Brighton.
“We didn’t get what we deserved…again. But we controlled the game, had a couple of very good attacks in that first half and we played very well.”
With new signing Liam Moore watching on from the stands, Reading took the lead through a John Swift free kick that sailed past David Stockdale in just the second minute. But Stam’s Royals had to show the character to come from behind to earn the point they undoubtedly deserved.
“Swifty scores a great goal at the start of the game, but you concede twice from our own mistakes - once with an own goal and then we didn’t do well in a certain situation at the start of the second half.
“I don’t know if it was a push on Joey that forced him to tumble, but you can’t concede an own goal like that. We’ve spoken about defending set pieces over the last couple of weeks.
“And then at the start of the second half – it’s happened before in previous games this season. I know from when I played, if you’ve done well in the first half at the start of the second half you’re all talking about it, starting well after the break.
“Everybody is really up for it, but for some reason - I don’t know why - that little bit of concentration is gone when you start the half and you concede a goal. We are making mistakes, whether it be strange or stupid fouls or not being sharp straight after half time – so we have to get that out of our system.
“And when you concede a goal, you have to work twice as hard to get a goal back. At 2-1, you have to fight your way back into the game to get the equaliser.
“We had to put a lot of energy into it because we were playing against a team with good quality. But we did well, got it back to 2-2 and then you want the third goal to win the game – that’s in our nature, that’s how we want to play.
“As I say, we’d already put a lot of energy into the game at that stage, so it wasn’t going to be easy, but we still put the ball into the box a good number of times. Maybe the runs in front of goal were not good enough at certain times, but we worked very hard for a point and should have had more.”
Albion hadn’t conceded a goal in the four games they’d played before visiting Madejski Stadium and arrived in RG2 top of the Championship table, so the performance and result can take Stam’s side into a midweek meeting with MK Dons in good spirit.
“Brighton did very well last season and they are a good team who want to go to the Premier League. You see how they invest in players, in the players they’re buying to strengthen their squad, you can see they’re looking for promotion.
“But that doesn’t mean you can’t play against them, it doesn’t mean you can’t beat them. My philosophy is for attractive, attacking football with a lot of possession. And, in a way, we succeeded in that today.”