Skip to main content
Interviews

Stam praises strong squad mentality

17 April 2017

"To keep going, to stay patient, to get those goals and the win...it's a great achievement"

"It's very important at this stage in the season that you win your games, especially your home games," Stam began his post-match assessment of a 2-1 win over rock bottom Rotherham.

"On paper, you're playing Rotherham who are relegated. But we knew it wasn't going to be easy playing against players who had nothing to lose.

"And we were one of only two teams to have to play with only one day between games - so it was very tiring. Two games in three days is a lot...and normally the second day after a game you feel more tired than one day after it. So today was thast day.

"They started aggressively, we didn't. We weren't sharp enough and we needed to wake up a bit at the start of the game. But they scored and they dropped in and sat in their own half. That doesn't help you to win the game.

"But it takes a really strong mentality to win that game, to keep going, to keep that patience to get that equaliser and then the winner. It's a big compliment to this team in how they performed today - maybe not playing the best football for a number of reasons, but getting a great result.

"We know we need to handle the schedule, deal with two games so close together, and that's what we did it."

The Royals fell behind to Tom Adeyemi's close range finish and Rotherham frustrated a home crowd and Stam's players for more than an hour, but a Lewis Grabban volley followed by John Swift's late winner ensured Reading would retain a six point gap over seventh place going into the final three games of the season.

"When they scored that goal, they dropped in deep and played 4-1-4-1, kept the areas very small, makiing it difficult for us. In that situation you need to stay calm, let the ball move quickly from one siode to the other and let them run. And eventually, spaces open up.

"When we weren't playing well in the first half, we still got chances to score goals. And in the second half, we played a lot better, controlled the game and created good opportunities.

"When that first one goes in, there is a bit more pressure for them and we scored a second. And the players knew what they needed to do.

"Going down 1-0 near the start of the ganme, needing to get back into the game, needing to score that equaliser and then the winner...and they've done it. It is a great achievement."