A summary of Jaap Stam’s first media conference at Madejski StadiumJaap Stam was unveiled to the media as the new first-team manager of Reading FC on Monday afternoon, and took questions from the local and national media at Madejski Stadium.
Here is a summary of some of the key topics which Stam discussed…
Ambitions as a manager
When you become a manager you have to look at a club that want to have you, and who have the same ideas as you have – and that’s what Reading have.
They are a very ambitious club, like I am as a person. They want to go back to the Premier League and eventually I want to do that as well. So hopefully we can have a very good partnership and get there.
I’m very ambitious and so is the club. Eventually I would like to get back into the Premier League. It’s not going to be easy… it will be very hard because of the quality of the other teams. We are going to do our best and we will work very hard, both my staff and the players as well.
It’s hard to say what you want to achieve in two years; of course I want to get to the Premier League eventually and we want to do it as fast as we can. But sometimes you need your time to get your way of playing and get the confidence in the team and the players you want.
Hopefully you succeed after that. It can happen quickly, in one season, and sometimes it takes longer than that, but we will work very hard and hopefully we can do it as quickly as we can.
Knowledge of the Championship
In Holland we see all of the English football – not only the Premier League, but also the Championship as well. There are a lot of very big teams in the league – and not only big teams, but quality as well.
It is very competitive, and the way of playing is strong and the pace of the game goes up and down the pitch, so it’s not easy to win your games.
Planning for next season
After this press conference we’re going to talk about the squad, but when you are in talks with a club, you know which players are in the squad and we also have a few international players as well who are at the Euros and the Copa America so we know we already have a lot of quality.
You need a squad to be competitive in every game. You play a lot of games in this league and as a manager and with the staff that I have we need to get the maximum potential out of the players, individually, but also as a team.
You always talk about what’s possible within the club. As manager you want to create something in the club and your own style of play. That doesn’t mean that straight away you’re going to be buying five or six new players.
You look at the squad and see what quality you have, but if it’s not there maybe I then need to go into talks with the club and the owners about buying a couple of players.
Getting advice from others
I spoke to Ronald Koeman… you do your homework before you go somewhere! So I spoke to Koeman and I also spoke to Guus Hiddink and some other managers as well to know what to expect.
As a player you know what expect on the pitch but as a manager it’s a totally different thing, so I got some good advice.
I think it is very important to talk to different people who have been working at the top level and especially over here in the UK. Every manager does things in their own way, but you also have to make the most of the advice you get, especially from managers that have been working here for a few years.
His management style and football philosophy
People look at me and probably think ‘he’s a bit grumpy, or ‘he’s a bit serious’… but people who know me think ‘oh – he’s quite friendly!’ In your management as well you need to know what to tell the players.
You need to know how and when to be friendly, but you must also be hard too as a manager because you expect the team to do certain things – and if they don’t do it, you have to treat them in a certain way.
I was a defender, but I like to attack as well. I was brought up on the Dutch way of playing… of course you want to attack but you also have to think of the other side, because you don’t want to concede a lot of goals. But attractive football is one of my philosophies.
His most recent Old Trafford appearance
I injured my thigh at Soccer Aid… and coming up these stairs I thought it was going again! Thankfully I’m at the training ground tomorrow, so somebody can have a look at it!
Working with young players
We have quite a young team – the youth department here is very good, and I am used to working with young players.
The way we have been working in Holland as well helps because we have to be inventive. We do not have the budget there to go and buy expensive players, so we have to work with young players to improve them individually and get them to be able to work in the first team.
Over here it is a bit different we want to do well in the league and we want to grow well as a club. It would be great if the Youth players can develop as well and be part of the team.
Message to the Reading fans
I think a good message for the Reading fans is that everybody sitting here and working here is very confident for next season. We are all working very hard to build a team that is going to have success.