Jaap: "Wins like that are what we want""That’s what we’re looking for. Wins." Royals boss Jaap Stam was pleased with the result and a first away win as manager of the Royals - a victory secured thanks to Yann Kermorgant's 89th minute winner in Cardiff this afternoon.
"I think we deserved the win as well, with how we played. We had a lot of possession, there was a lot of movement within the team – we’ve been working hard on that since the start of the season.
"We haven’t always got the win when we've played well, but today we did. We created chances again, playing against a side who are physically strong, who didn’t give much space away for us to pass the ball through.
"But we kept our patience. They got frustrated, especially in the second half, and that’s what we wanted."
Patience was key ahead of Kermorgant's late winner. But Liam Moore and Tyler Blackett earned a clean sheet on their league debuts in a defensive display that largely impressed the Royals boss.
"We were very sharp in how we defended. After the first 15 minutes, they pressed us a bit higher up, won the ball in midfield a couple of times, got themselves in front of goal a couple of times, but after that we picked it up and controlled the game – especially in the second half.
"Away from home, you know it’s not going to be easy because your opponent wants the ball. They play the ball straight up to their strikers, who try to hold it and play in their midfielders. But I think we did very well today. We created chances and it soon looked like we’d only need that one goal.
"I’m very proud of the players and what they’ve learned in the last couple of weeks. The passion that they put into the game today, the effort they have put into a different style of play.
"If you keep on doing it, keep believing in it, keep working hard and keep your patience, eventually you’ll start winning games. That is what we did today.
"It’s always nice to win games. Like everybody, I want to have success. Everybody wants to win games, climb higher in the table with their team. So I am delighted."
The Royals now head into an international break with an away win under their belt, ahead of two home games against Ipswich Town and Birmingham City when domestic football resumes.
"We’re not used to having a break to be fair, because the games kept on coming," Stam continued. "It would be nice to have an extra couple of days training with the complete group, because you want to improve the style of playing.
"But players have been called up for international duty and that’s a good thing as well. And, although it means we can’t work on our way of playing, we can improve players individually - and that’s what we’re going to be doing over the next two weeks.
"We’ll still be working very hard…but we might get a couple of days off as well..."