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Jaap aiming for a strong performance against Villa

The manager also gives an update on injuries in the squad

14 August 2017

Jaap Stam believes his squad can perform well against an experienced Aston Villa side at Madejski Stadium on Tuesday night.

Despite the upcoming visitors taking one point from their first two matches, Stam says Villa's large away following and transfer activity this summer makes them strong contenders in the league going forward.

Steve Bruce's side come into Tuesday's match off the back of a disappointing 3-0 defeat against Cardiff City, but Stam is still well aware of the qualities that the seven-time top tier champions possess.

"Aston Villa have a great fanbase, every time they come over here you see them and they're very loud. 

"Almost all of the stand behind the goal is filled with their fans, so our fans need to be very loud as well to compete against them, which they're going to do.

"You've seen the Villa team. They've spent a lot of money again this season, they want to go up and make it difficult for everyone else in the league. 

"We're aware of that, so they've got a good team. Even against good teams, I think you can do very well."

Stam also gave positive news on the state of the squad as a whole, with injured players beginning to take steps to return to training.

This, in turn, will start to increase the number of players at Stam's disposal in the Championship and Carabao Cup in the coming weeks.

The Royals' manager was keen to exercise caution in players returning, though, without wanting to rush anyone who is not fully fit.

"The players are coming back," he added. "Macca (Paul McShane) is back, Joey (van den Berg) is back, Roy Beerens is back in training, Garath McCleary is back in training, so at the moment the squad is getting bigger and bigger and that's good.

"We don't want to risk certain things but to be involved is good."

Kick-off at Madejski Stadium on Tuesday evening is at 8pm, follow the link below for ticketing info!

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