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"Not an easy win, but an important one..."

4 April 2017

Royals boss Jaap Stam reflected on our 14th home win of the league season...

A Rovers return for the Royals' efforts but manager Jaap Stam admitted that the second half display made victory difficult against a Rovers side who scrapped their way back into the game this evening.

"We started the game well, very confident, we kept possession and we scored two good goals," the boss began.

"Sometimes, though, we took it too easy in going forward; there were moments when we had it at the back and took too long in the build up and we could have gone forward a lot quicker, especially when they pressed us high and left space in behind.

"But when you go 2-0 up in half an hour, it gives you a good feeling. And it can give the team a feeling of 'Ok, it's 2-0, maybe we can take it easy and score a third now.' But you don't want to give the opposition any sort of feeling that they can get chances to get a goal back.

"In every game you play, you need to focus for 95 minutues, even when you're 2-0 up you need to be very sharp in going forward, in keeping that ball, in being aggressive defensively. And after half an hour, at 2-0 up, we got sloppy, gave them opprortuniteis to come out on the break, gave them confidence and that focus slipped away a little bit.

"Everybody knew they needed to their points as well, they needed to go for it! And that's what they did. Especially in the first 20 minutes after the break, they gave us a really hard time, they changed their system, we couldn't control the game any more, they had the ball, they were winning a lot of the second balls too.

"After that we picked it up again, but they scored their goal. At that stage, you're waiting to see what's going to happen next. Is the team going to respond? And we did.

"We went forward and luckily scored that third one with McCleary, which made it a lot easier thankfully. And after that we had three very, very good chances to score more goals.

"It wasn't an easy game and the second half was difficult. So I'm not really happy in how we played in the second half, but I'm very happy with the result."

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