Gaffer looks on to Millers meeting
There’s hardly time to breathe – after a pulsating win against Aston Villa, the Royals could make it six points in three days if they get it right against Rotherham at Madejski Stadium on Easter Monday.
The win at Villa Park was particularly important, given the set of Good Friday results which fell the way of all of the other play-off hopefuls.
But there’ll be no stepping off the pedal when the Millers come to RG2…
“All the other contenders won their games on Friday so it is becoming very tight,” manager Jaap Stam explained. “If we didn’t win against Villa it would have been a real battle. It still is, of course, but it gives you a bit of air.
“And now we have Rotherham this Monday which again will be a tough game. We won’t go in thinking that because we won against Villa that it will be a simple game. No – it’s going to be a tough game again.
“Ours was the only match on Saturday so we have a day less rest, so the players need to dig deep once again to get another result.”
The Millers have been cut adrift at the bottom end of the division for some time and are already assured of their relegation fate – but the gaffer feels the Royals will be meeting a side with motivation of a different kind.
So a big part of the prep for the game will be about getting mentally ready and not believing that another home win is inevitable.
“They’ve got nothing to lose,” he continued. “They can play for their own performances as a team, but also as individuals to end the season well and maybe get a transfer somewhere else – even when you’re already out of the league, as a player you don’t want to lose any game.
“That team won’t like losing either so they’ll do everything to get a result against us, and we’re aware of that. So again we’re going to need to work very hard to get a result against them. That’s what we’re going to be doing.
“And that’s what the players want to do as well because the end is in sight. Hopefully we can end the season with a very nice prize.
“Mentally we need to be very strong, and I’m sure there will be some tired legs after this game as well. We’ve only got one day to recover and then go again on Monday.
“A big part of that when you get tired is whether you are mentally strong enough to still do your thing and work hard for the team. That’s what we’re asking of our players now; they know that and I’m sure they’re willing to go all the way.”
For match ticket information for our Easter Monday tie with Rotherham at Madejski Stadium, click here.