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All smiles despite 'stress' of our rebound routine

24 January 2017

Jaap on our penalty rebound 'practice' and Ali's match-winning save...

Royals on the rebound! Yet again a converted rebound from a saved penalty earned the Royals a vital and deserved victory at home to Fulham this evening and Jaap Stam smiled when he was asked about our knack of following in from failed spotkicks.

"I don't know if it's luck anymore!" he smiled. "Maybe Swifty told Roy...right, I'm going to hit the goalkeeper over there and then you're going to finish it off!

"It's a good thing that they are there to finish it off every time and I'm happy that we eventually scored. But it is stressful! It's a bit of a nightmare to be fair...

"It looks like the players are practicing it, scoring on the rebound. If we get a penalty, now you're thinking oh no, not again! And then it happens aagin! It's a lot easier if you score straight away from the penalty!"

It didn't matter though. Roy Beerens' goal early in the second half handed Stam's side the victory that moves the Royals up into third. "We played very well," Stam continued.

"We knew from the start it was going to be a difficult ganme. Fulham have got a great side, great players individually and as a team they play possession football very well.

"So our plan was to be straight on top of them, don't give them any space, but be comfortable in what we can do on the ball going forward as well. We were very focused and very sharp in everything we did. And with the pace we have, we were a threat going forward all the time.

"In the first half we had a couple of good chances but didn't finish them off. Second half we started well again, Fulham started playing 4-3-3 - but every time we went on the break we were a threat, we created chances and we could have scored more.

"After two defeats in the league, we wanted to win. We don't need to be dramatic about it, sometimes you lose games in a row. It happens. But no-one over here panics.

"And we did a great job, not only in the work ethic we put into the game but also in how we played as a team. I think you can say we deserved it.

"And we have to thank Ali. It was a good save, especially when you think about the chances we had to finish it off earlier in the game.

"He is a great goalie - he's been very important to us all season. And he was patient, he knew he was going to strike it like that, he blcoked it and it weas a great save. You need a goalie to get you the points sometimes and that's what he did tonight."

One goal, two penalties, the woodwork still shaking from McCleary's second half effort. Three points. Cardiff are here on Saturday...don't miss it!

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