Gaffer prepared for tactical battle in West London...Royals gaffer Jaap Stam is expecting an interesting tactical battle on Saturday when the Royals travel to Craven Cottage for a clash with Fulham in the Sky Bet Championship.
The Reading boss is well aware of Fulham’s qualities and recognises the Royals will have to be at the top of their game if they are to extend their run to a sixth straight win in the league.
“Fulham have got a great team,” commented the manager. “I think it will be one of the most difficult games to play so far this season. The way they want to play is quite similar to what we like to do.
“They like to play out from the back, they’ve got quality attacking players who are comfortable on the ball as well. If you give them time they can make it very difficult for you so it is going to be a very interesting game on Saturday.
“I expect the opposition will be talking about us too and about what we’ve done up until now.” he continued. “They’ll know how we want to play and will probably want to try and prevent us playing out as well. That is the tactical part of the game that makes it interesting.”
The Royals will be taking in excess of 3,000 travelling fans to Craven Cottage for the 3pm kick off at the weekend, and Jaap is aware how important an influence those supporters can be on his Reading side.
“Everybody here wants to pick up as many points as possible,” said Stam. “Especially over there in the way games you need the fans cheering you on. When things get a bit more difficult it helps you as a player.
“I’ve been there myself, sometimes when you play away games in the small grounds close to the pitch, if the fans are loud and back you up it can make things a lot easier when you are playing.”
The Royals manager revealed his side have been working tirelessly on the raining ground this week in the build up to the game to make sure the team’s shape will be as good as it can be, come the referee’s whistle on Saturday.
Jaap says he and his staff have looked in detail at the opposition to make sure they and the squad are well prepared for Fulham’s threats.
“We’ve been watching the video clips of the opposition, thinking about shape and picking out where we can make the difference in the game,” the gaffer revealed. “We’re looking at what we can do both with and without possession, so we’ve been spending the week training to prepare for what is coming on Saturday.
“You need to be creative and inventive sometimes when you go in to games. We know about the opposition and how they like to play, we need to be aware of what they can do.
“We are working on all kinds of different shapes and formations so we can be prepared for what the opposition do,” he continued. “We make sure we can carry out what we want to do because we believe focusing on our own game is very important.”