Manager reflects on Frenchman’s brace on full league debut
Royals boss Jaap Stam was full of compliments for striker Joseph Mendes after the Frenchman marked his full league debut at Aston Villa with a couple of goals.
Those two well-taken strikes – either side of James Chester’s header for the hosts – gave Reading a platform for the win… and that was sealed late on by a Lewis Grabban penalty after he had assisted each of Mendes’ goals.
And the gaffer felt it was a just reward for a person that has worked without relent to improve and force himself into the manager’s plans.
“We’re always preparing players well so that they can hopefully do well for the club eventually,” said Jaap.
“It hasn’t been an easy time for Joseph, because he came expecting to play and there has been a lot of competition in the squad and he has had a couple of injuries, and there are choices that I make as a manager about who to play.
“But in the last couple of weeks and months, he has been doing very, very well. He is a positive guy and he’s working very hard. He’s very strong, he’s good on the ball and he has improved a lot this season during our training sessions.
“Today he got his chance, and he took it. That’s how you need to be if you’re not playing regularly – the manager makes other choices, and this is how you show him ‘I’m here, I’m going to show you, and I’m going to do well for the team’.”
And Joseph’s contribution can certainly be an example to other players on the periphery of how to channel any frustration of not being in the team.
“Everybody is doing their part,” Stam continued. “Some players are playing a bit less than other players – we can only start 11 and we make our choices, but everybody is very committed in what they need to do.
“That’s how it needs to be. We’ve got four games left – four finals – and we want to do well. Hopefully that continues with Rotherham.”
That game against Rotherham comes on Easter Monday 17th April, kicking off at 3pm at Madejski Stadium… click here for ticket information.