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Stam | "We wanted to play, but I can understand the decision"

30 December 2016

Royals boss reflects on an abandonment at the Madejski

Royals boss Jaap Stam spoke after the abandonment of an EFL Championship fixture against Fulham this evening, fog calling a half-time halt to proceedings at the Madejski.

"We wanted to play on, but in some way I can understand the decision," he began.

"The linesman overruled the referee because they couldn't see the other side of the pitch. The referee said that on the pitch they could see everything, but on the sidelines it was difficult for his assistants.

"They didn't want to take the risk of making the wrong decision if there had been an offside or a tackle on the other side of the pitch that they couldn't see properly.

"So they called us in at half time. We'd already done the team talk and then the referee called us in and told us what they were going to do.

"We spoke about it, but they said they couldn't see the other side of the pitch and that's why they didn't want to take that risk - so they made a decision to cancel the game.

"We can't do anything about that, we can say we want to play...but if he makes that decision then it's been made. And we have to play again."

The Royals had begun the game well and created the better of the chances in front of goal, making the abandonment all the more frustrating for Stam and his side.

"We started well, we were playing a bit differently to how we normally play, but we started aggressively and we created a couple of very good chances.

"But we go home disappointed, because you want to have a result today rather than play again in the next couple of weeks or whenever - because it's a busy schedule already!

"And I can understand the fans going home disappointed too, because they wanted to see us play as well.

"But the officials needed to make a decision before they went out for the second half, and there was always a chance that it would get worse as the evening went on and then they would need to cancel it then. So, we play again."

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