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"A point was a fair result"

4 February 2017

Royals boss reflects on a tough battle that ended in a Portman Road stalemate

Reading twice came from behind to earn a point this afternoon and boss Jaap Stam, pleased with a hard earned point, admitted that a draw was the fair result at Portman Road.

"We knew from the start that it was going to be a tough game," he said. "We knew how they liked to play from the first game against them at home - the effort that they put in, aggressive going forward, getting into battles all over the pitch.

"And they knew how we want to play with possession - and they didn't want to let us play. There was a lot of physicality in their play, a lot of battles in the midfield and that made it difficult for us.

"They did well, they worked hard for it - but my main frustration is how we conceded the goals.

"They scored both times from us losing the ball. The first was when we were on the attack and we lost it on the edge of their box - and on the break they were out. They did it very well and scored a great goal, but it was our mistake that cost us.

"And the second goal that we conceded, we lost it again on the right side, trying to play that ball into the striker under pressure. We were left open at the back, we gave space away, so when they won the ball they passed the ball straight through the middle to their striker and he scored the second goal.

"We had more of the ball, but by making two mistakes you concede two goals and we had to equalise twice, which is not easy against a side like this. But we still did it! And I think it's an important point for us."

The draw takes the Royals to 56 in total, having played 30 games so far this season. Back to back home games against Barnsley and Brentford await next and the Royals will be looking to return to winning ways next weekend as the race for a top six spot hots up.

"We tried to play, but we couldn't always do what we wanted to. It was a hard game and we didn't deserve anything more today, it was a fair result for both teams.

"And it's going to be a hard run towards the end of the season, hard to stay up there. Everyone wants to end up in the top six and if there is a possibility, we want to do that as well. So we'll see how it goes."

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