Manager reflects on Swindon win for young sideRoyals boss Jaap Stam revealed that his decision to give an outing to so many young players at Swindon was in order to offer them a chance to prove what they can bring to the party in 2016/17.
None of the starting XI were regulars in the Royals’ first-team last season – in fact they made just six appearances between them for Reading all season – yet all showed reasons why they could push for a place in the new season under Stam’s tenure by putting in a strong showing against the Robins, and ultimately earning a 2-1 win.
“They wanted to show what they have got – they know that they were playing against a good side who were really up for it,” said Stam. “We want to give the youngsters a stage to perform and to show themselves.
“I think this was the ideal moment for them to show themselves to the fans and to everybody here at the ground – but also to the staff.
“They had a very good performance – okay, there are certain things that we are going to look at tomorrow on the video and show them… that’s how it goes in football because you want to improve every time. But I’m very happy.”
Over 1,200 fans made the journey down the M4 to get behind the Royals – and they were rewarded when Deniss Rakels and Jack Stacey completed a late turnaround with a couple of well-taken goals.
“It is a derby and everybody wants to win this game,” Stam continued. “Even if it’s a friendly game, when you’re out there on the pitch you want to win every game that you can and you give everything you can to win.
“That is the mentality that we need within the club and they have shown that today as well.”
The combination of everything that he saw was very satisfying in sum for the manager as the squad continues to take shape.
“I think the overall feeling that we have is a very good one – a very satisfied feeling,” the manager said. “We were 1-0 down and we were playing against a team that played some very good football at times and it was difficult to get them under pressure and get the ball back.
“I think we did well – especially towards the end of the game in the last 20 or 25 minutes when we pressed them very high up the pitch and won a lot of balls and created a couple of good chances, and scored two goals as well to eventually win the game.
“We need to look at the part before that as well when we had a difficult time in parts and they created a couple of chances to score as well. But with the overall performance, we’re very happy with what the youngsters have done.”