Reading boss reflects on St Andrew’s triumphReading manager Jaap Stam was delighted with the Royals’ resolve in a 1-0 victory at St Andrew’s against Birmingham City.
After a number of chances went unconverted for Reading, they had to ensure the Blues were kept at bay. And then when John Swift finally made a chance count late on, it needed an extra push to ensure there was no late leveller.
“I’m very happy – it’s a great result over here,” said the Royals boss.
“It wasn’t easy to come over here and get a result; we knew that from the start. They’ve got a new manager and a way they want to play, and to be fair with the weather conditions and all the rain it’s difficult too.
“But if you look at the team and how we played – in the first half we created a couple of very good chances and should have scored. We didn’t do that. And then you know they are going to have their chances as well. But they didn’t score either. They didn’t create a lot, but sometimes in the box they make it difficult for us at certain times.
“Overall if you look at the game and the way we defended – with a lot of passion. Everyone was very committed in what they needed to do. That was very good. And in the second half we spoke about what we needed to improve or do differently.
“We got that goal by Jordan going through and delivered that ball to Swifty – after that we stuck in there, knowing that they were going to be playing a bit more direct. We defended very well and eventually got the three points.
“You know in these games that you want to score yourself, and when eventually you score that goal, everybody wants to get that the result and the three points – and they work very hard to do that. You would like to keep on dominating and keep going forward, but in the back of their heads they are thinking also about not conceding an equaliser.
“But they did it very well – and they did it together. Not only the back five, but the midfield players and the strikers. Eventually by doing that, and in combination with the quality that you have, you get these results.
“We were missing a couple of players that normally play through injury. The ones who stepped in and played, and certain ones like Danny Williams – who wasn’t playing in his favourite position – did a great job. It’s tremendous – it means a lot for the team and for us. You can see that they are very committed to do well.”
Just over a week ago, there were reflections on back-to-back defeats in the Sky Bet Championship.
But Stam was pleased that there were no dissenting voices or distractions – just a steadfastness to stick to the task at hand.
“We know the quality that we have and we are very confident in what we do,” he continued. “Sometimes when you lose a game, people will start panicking and wonder what’s going to happen now – especially with what happened last season.
“But the mood in the group is very positive. Players know what to do, they like how we play. In the games that we lost, we didn’t play bad – but due to our own small mistakes, we conceded goals and lost games.
“We talk about it, we show it to them, they know what they need to do to improve and eventually by wanting to improve and working hard and using our heads in the right way, you get results.”