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Stam hails his "totally dominant" Royals

1 April 2017

The manager reflects on leapfrogging Leeds!

Despite leapfrogging Leeds with a fully deserved 1-0 home win, Royals boss Jaap Stam remained level-headed in his assessment of a pulsating win over Garry Monk's men.

"I'm very happy with the win but also in the performance, in how we played. Especially in the first half, we played very, very well, and created some very, very good chances," he began.

"We had a couple of one on ones with the goalkeeper, hit the post – but didn’t score. Luckily Yann had scored that important goal for us before that.

"In the second half, you know they need to change their game a little bit, do something different. We wanted to keep playing our own game like we had done in the first half, but it’s not easy when they’re pressing higher up, playing a bit more direct.

"We spoke about that at half time, maybe needing to play the ball quicker up front, making more runs in behind. And although we couldn't play like we did in the first half, we still created a couple of good chances.

"And towards the end, you know how they’re going to play. Long ball, the centre back going up front, and it beomce a battle in the box. You need to work hard, dig deep, defend well - we’ve done that before and we did it again. I’m very proud of the players."

It was three points that the Royals were certainly worthy of. Twice we raced clean through on Rob Green's goal, the woodwork saved the visitors at the end of the first half and Roy Beerens missed his kick when he only had Green to beat at the start of the second.

"You saw how they were set up, sitting in a little bit, waiting for us to make a mistake to come out on the counter attack. But we totally dominated the game.

"We knew these games were crucial in us staying up there. In how we’ve been working, in what we’ve been doing all season, I think we deserve to be up there.

"Everybody’s got that confidence in how we can play, what we can do, we know we can beat the best teams in this league. We want to measure ourselves against big teams like Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United and that’s what the boys have done again today.

"We need to be consistent in everything we do, that’s what we’re aiming for. And hopefully we can keep it up until the end of the season. We’ve still got a lot of difficult games left to play, but - just like we did tdoay - we're going to give it a go."

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