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"They stuck to the plan and I'm very proud of them"

2 January 2017

Stam gave his reaction to a stunning come-from-behind win in Bristol

"I'm very proud of the team and of what they've done," the manager said after an incredible second half comeback that saw the Royals take all three points from a startled Ashton Gate.

"We conceded the first goal because we didn't do well in the build up. Then, right at the start of the second half, we concede that second goal.

"But the spirit we have in this team...we always keep on going. The self-belief we have in the side means we believe we can get a result against every team.

"It's a great win and it's a big compliment to the team because they stuck to the plan when, so often, you see teams get impatient when they are trying to come from behind...taking risks and playing balls they normally wouldn't.

"But our team didn't do that, they played it very well, the subs came on and did well and it paid off with three points. We're very pleased with that."

Two mistakes had handed the hosts a 2-0 advantage, but substitute Liam Kelly pulled one back with a fine strike and Reading laid siege to the City goal in the final 20 minutes, searching for something in a game Stam's side were undoubtedly bossing. And then Yann Kermorgant struck twice, the winner in injury time, to send the traveling fans into ecstasy!

"We dominated the opposition and it gave us confidence. You hear people say that possession is not good enough sometimes - but if you have quality on the ball and your passing is good, you make your runs at the right time, the opposition gets tired, you get chances and eventually - if you do it well - you score goals.

"In the first half, we dominated possession but we were sometimes careless on the ball, gave it away too easily and they broke on the counter attack. They had quality in midfield to press at the right time, they had quality up front with Abraham who makes his runs and is a threat in one v ones on the ball.

"We spoke about that this morning in our meeting, but still it happened. And we needed to step it up. That's what we were looking to do at the start of the second half, but immediately after the whistle you concede the second goal.

"We'd had two great chances in the first half as well - Danny Williams could have got one and Yann hit the crossbar. So we knew we just needed to play our game better.

"We needed to stick to the plan in the movement we were making up front and in midfield with quality passes, quick play - that that's what they did in the second half...right to the end of the game. And it paid off."

2017 has begun with a dramatic victory and the players huddled together at full time in celebrations of a wonderful result. Manchester United lie in wait next weekend.


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