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Stam: “We want to win the next one now!”

9 August 2016

Jaap happy with result but highlights further room for improvement

Having watched his side stroll past Plymouth in the EFL Cup this evening, those asking our manager the questions no doubt expected Jaap Stam to be delighted with the performance of his players after a second successive clean sheet and a comfortable victory.

But the Royals boss was more focussed on what he could improve rather than full of glowing praise after a convincing win over the Pilgrims. "I was pleased with the result, very happy. But with how we played...I think we could have done a lot better," he began.

"We didn't play badly of course. We had a lot of possession for example and the whole team pressed well. But I think we can improve. We took a few too many risks and lost the ball too early and too easily in the second half sometimes when, if you keep it simple, keep playing possession, you'll create chances.

"Instead we let our foot off the gas a little bit in the seond half and, as a team, you make it difficult for yourselves if you lose the ball - you give the opponent a small chance or they get the ball into the box, and suddenly you never know what might happen.

"At half time I said to the players we could be a bit more aggressive and they tried to do that at the beginning of the second half. But eventually you see players getting tired as well - because a lot of them played on Saturday.

"We want to press high up the pitch if we can - if you wait too long to press then they're in front of your goal and something might happen, a mis-kick, or someone heads it wrong and the opponent scores. And the players dropped in a bit and waited a bit longer to press. But that's how it goes."

At times though, some of the Royals' play was excellent and it looked like the players were enjoying themselves out on the Madejski turf. "Winning games is good for the confidence - and every game that we have to play we want to win. That's how I was as a player, and I want my team to think like that as well.

"We're in the cup, so we want to win the next one. But it's very early in the season - only the second game! We've got a long way to go. But we'll keep on working on our system, try to keep improving on what we do and see where we end up.

"We are looking forward to next weekend now at Wolves. It's going to be interesting, they've got a new manager as well - we know a little bit about the style they are trying to play becuase we've seen clips of course, so it's going to be good to see how our players reposnd to playing away from our own stadium for the first time this season."

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