Royals boss gives his reaction to a disappointing day at Deepdale!Royals boss Jaap Stam gave his analysis after a disappointing defeat at Deepdale courtesy of three conceded goals in 18 minutes either side of half-time.
"We know what we can do. We know what the opposition can do. And we’ve proven, in the past, that we can be dangerous going forward and solid at the back. But we’ve had a couple of these games now and we should know better.
"But losing the ball, we can be very open and give chances and goals away. And that’s what happened today as well.
They did it very well, very aggressive in how they play, defensively working well together, going forward together, being aggressive in turning towards goal and dribbling forward.
"In the first half, they didn’t create a lot of chances and we played ok. And going forward, we got opportunities and we needed to be more clinical.
"There were opportunities to play if we’d made the right choices. We didn’t. And they deservedly won the game.
"When they came out they were very dangerous and they scored their goals. We needed to be more aggressive defensively, more resolute.
"In other games, we’ve done well when we’ve gone behind, come back well – we’ve had an answer from the group. But when you go two goals behind and then it's three just after half-time, it’s very difficult to get back into the game.
"We needed to anticipate certain situations better. We were always late to the ball and they punished us. We had the same thing against Brighton and we’ve had it in previous games...and we need to improve on it."
Fulham's win at Newcastle significantly closes the game between the chasing pack and the top six as it stands, so the Royals boss is looking for a swift improvement if we are to sustain our challenge for a play-off place.
"You’ve seen that if you want to stay up there, where we are in the table, you have to do better. You are not allowed to make small mistakes.
"The players were very eager to do well, but we need to learn. Small things matter and to win games like these, you need to be sharp, focused – that means when we get the opportunities that we did in the first half, you need to finish them. That means when you’re attacking, you need to be aware of their strikers as well in case you lose the ball.
"And we need to be more decisive – if you can’t play nice football in the certain way we like to play, sometimes you just need to launch that ball into the stands…be decisive. And we don’t do that. That’s why we’re giving goals away."