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“We created their chances and they punished us”

25 February 2017

Royals boss on a disappointing defeat at the Amex

Brighton have only lost once in the league at home all season and they were clinical in capitalising on mistakes from the Royals at the Amex this evening, running out 3-0 victors to go top of the table.

“Danny Williams gets that big chance just after half-time and if he scores, it’s a different game,” the Royals boss said. “And in the first half Roy Beerens had a very good chance too but his shot was was saved by the goalkeeper.

“So we created some good chances, and those moments - if you get them against team like this – you have to score.

"But we also created their chances - losing the ball three times and they scored on the counter attack three times!

“The first one we lost the ball, we didn’t get back into our defensive organisation quickly enough, they delivered the ball from the right back into the striker – and if he controls it he can score. We’re 1-0 down.

“The second one, we’ve got a set piece, we lose it again, they come out on the break, we don’t make a challenge in the middle of the pitch, and they run away to score the second one  - not a chance they earned by pressing us, but by us basically giving a goal away.

“And the third one, a pass wide from Liam Kelly is intercepted, they’re out on the break again and they score the third. Again, it’s not by being under pressure from them, but if our pass isn’t accurate enough they can score the third.

“They made it compact, waited for their moment to come out on the break and they’ve got quality players – it’s no shame we lose to a side like that.

“And playing against a side like Brighton, with the quality that they have, you’re going to make it very difficult for yourself if you don't do the right things.”

The manager has often spoken about the time Brighton have had to build a side capable of mounting an automatic promotion bid this year, compared to his seven months in charge of the Royals and trying to turn a 17th placed finish into something much more in such a short space of time.

“The team have learned a lot, that’s why we’re in the top six,” he said. “But going to the top and staying there is very difficult.

“And it’s a learning process. Are we sometimes strong enough, are we sometimes clever enough, do we read the game well enough at certain times, is the movement right when you’ve got the ball, are we making the right decision to play that pass or not…it’s a learning process.

“It’s very difficult to get a result over here. And against sides like this, you get punished for your mistakes straight away.

“But by playing these games, the players need to grow and develop.

"Brighton have been close for three of four seasons and didn’t make it to the Premier League – but they’ve been building towards it.

“So it’s not like we’ve come in and I’m a magic sorcerer and, in the space of our first season, we’re going to expect to go straight up to the Premier League. We are realistic and we will give it our best shot of course. But you need to build and adapt as a squad and eventually you hope you can make that step.”

Reading remain in the top six and now look forward to back-to-back home fixtures against Wolves and Newcastle United at the Madejski. Bouncing back is the aim. Let’s get behind the team and help Stam’s side put this week's defeats behind them and return to winning ways against Wolves next weekend.

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