Royals boss Jaap Stam watched a game of two halves at Adams Park this afternoon, unhappy with the mistakes we made to gift Vitesse Arnhem three goals in the opening hour, but much more content with a second half performance that demonstrated what we are capable of against high calibre opposition.
“Before the game we talked about the team we were about to face, the quality that Vitesse Arnhem have – they have bought ten new players this summer and they are a good team,” he began.
“And if you’re not sharp enough and you don’t start well enough against a team like that, you’re taking too many risks and giving balls away in certain areas, then you concede goals!
“That’s what happened with the first goal and the third goal. The second goal we didn’t defend aggressively enough. And it needs to be a lesson.
“We need to know when to take a risk, when to play it up the field, when to hold it – because if you look at the 90 minutes, they didn’t create a chance themselves…we gave them three goals.”
In the second half, Adi Popa and Liam Kelly hit the woodwork, while Pelle Clement was denied what looked like a penalty when he was scythed down inside the area – before a John Swift spotkick pulled one back and Popa swept home a second in a much improved performance across the pitch.
“We created a couple of good chances first half, but if you compare the first and second halves and the movement we had in the second half, the runs we made in behind, playing the balls in behind quicker, you can see you can make it difficult for your opponents.
“We scored two, could even have scored one or two more - one hit the crossbar, Pelle should have scored or maybe won a penalty – so at the end of the game it could have been 5-3.
“But we lost and that’s mainly because of the mistakes we made ourselves. Everyone needs to be aware of that.”
Pre-season is complete and all focus turns to Loftus Road next weekend now. And the manager is hopeful that a few injuries picked up in our preparations can clear up sooner rather than later.
“Today, Joey got a knock on his ankle. I don’t think it’s too bad, but we took him off as a precaution.
“And the same with Jon – he got a knock on his achilles, it felt quite sore up to his calf. I’m not a specialist, but hopefully it isn’t too bad.
“And everybody is working very hard to bring several players into the squad as quickly as we can. But it is not easy.
"The deadline is still a month away, but we want to bring players in a soon as we can, because new players will need to adjust to how we play. So we are looking and we want to bring players in - and hopefully we can do something!
“For now though we are working with the group of players we have with us. And I’m happy with the squad and the players we have and how we can play if the mindset is good. But of course I always want to improve and I want the players to improve.
“This season is going to be tougher than last season, with the expectation from people outside the club, the other teams who will be watching us more than they did last season. So we all need to step up to the next level if we want to do even better.”