Jaap wants to make the most of a short recovery period...Reading manager Jaap Stam says the Royals will be using the international break as a chance for some of the team to recharge their batteries after a hectic post-Christmas fixture schedule in the Sky Bet Championship.
The manager also sees the fortnight as an opportunity for some of the squad who have been side-lined with injuries in recent weeks to recover and regain fitness ahead of a big game with Leeds at Madejski Stadium.
“It is very important to have a little break for some of our players,” said the gaffer. “The season has been very hard and very tough for everybody.
“You can see it with the injuries we have picked up because the season so far has taken its toll. We play tough games week in week out.”
Stam laid out the schedule for the coming couple of weeks at the training ground, underlining the importance of recovery ahead of what will be an intense run-in of fixtures as the 2016/17 campaign beings to draw to a close.
“I wouldn’t say it’s two weeks off,” said the manager. “But the first week of the two will certainly be an easier week for the players not on international duty. Certain players will be playing for the countries, but others will be having a couple of days off.”
“The ones that are in and training, we will give them a couple of good training sessions, but we can’t be working them too hard because they need to be fit for the rest of the season.
“That is how we try to balance everything,” he continued. “By making sure we get players fit again for the next game against Leeds.”