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Stam on 'a good result' against City

26 December 2016

Manager on penalty rebounds and taking on Fulham again...

Scoring from a rebound after a penalty is becoming something of a habit for the Royals, but Garath McCleary's fine headed finish fired Reading their second goal and went a long way towards securing the home side a 3-1 victory against Norwich City this afternoon.

"We're making a thing of it!" the manager smiled. "We like to add a bit of tension for us all the bench!

"We deserved the penalty after the handball and Yann has great technique and usually he just hits it hard and the goalkeeper only feels it fly by, they don't even see it - he's got that much power in his kick.

"But he tried something different and thankfully scoring from penalties from the second ball is becoming a habit of ours. It was a great goal from Garath - but it's easier for everyone if the one who is taking the penalty scores first time!"

Alex Neil's side came fron behind to level the scores on the hour, but that moment seven minutes after parity had been restored, proved the turning point in a Championship encounter that was hotly contested at Madejski Stadium.

"They started very agressively and they pressed us high up the pitch to the extent that their back four were on the half way line. They weren't giving us any time to play in one v one situations and we needed to use our pace more to get in behind them in the first half. But we didn't do that enough.

"The pitch didn't help us out in the possession play we want to focus on - you don't want to be focusing on your first touch, you want to be focussing to be the rest of the team and the opposition.

"And we were playing against a good side. Being relegated from the Premier League and keeping their squad basically in tact, means they were going to make it difficult for us. We were playing against a top side with a lot of quality and you can't expect to dominate every single game and score and create a lot of chances against teams like Norwich.

"But we took the lead; Liam Kelly's free kick and Yann scoring with his head, something we've worked on in training - we showed the players how we can be a threat from set pieces and it worked out so that's good.

"And although they didbn't have many clear cut chances, they got into the box and posed a threat. And they got the equaliser. But when we got that second one and they went down to ten men, it made it a little easier to control the game.

"If you can't play it out from the back, you have to find a different way and at half-time we talked about taking the gamble of being a bit more direct, with runners in behind.

"The game opened up and the spaces got bigger and bigger and we scored that second, we had opportunities for more, and they needed a result too so they kept pushing too.

"But Callum scored a great third and that was that. We worked very hard in getting that result. We didn't play our best football, and they made it very difficult for us, but the result for us was a very good one."

Fulham up next on Friday...don't miss it. "We played very badly when we played over there. They played very well. We played with ten men for some of it and they had a big win. I think the players are very aware of what they need to do on Friday!"



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