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“If you want to go to the final, you need to beat the best teams!”

12 May 2017

Royals boss Stam says his team are ready for the occasion when they face a ‘really good side’ this Saturday

“Everybody knows how they play, their players as well, the quality that they have within the team, the squad, it’s not going to be easy," said Jaap Stam ahead of Saturday's first leg of the play-offs against Fulham.  "It’s going to be a difficulty game.

“They’ve proven themselves in the league that they are a really good side, but we know that. If you want to go to the final, if you want to make that step to the Premier League, you need to beat the best teams anyway.

“We look at all the games, we look at our own games as well, what we did well, what we didn’t do well, what we need to improve at certain times. We try to prepare ourselves the best we can and then hopefully get a good result.”

The play-off semi-finals are of course a two-legged affair, and the Royals boss is keen to get a good result and take the tie to the second game at Madejski Stadium, well aware that Slavisa Jokanovic’s side will also be looking to impress in front of their own fans.

“If you play away, they play at home, they want to do well for their own fans and get a good result. But we play away, we want to have a good result as well.

“Of course you need to have the score right to be fair to yourself for the second game at home, so you can hopefully do the job at home and get to the final.”

Stam also credited the importance of the supporters and the atmosphere that they can create on a matchday, and how that can help the team to get over the line in their play-off campaign. 

“The fans probably know now by the end of the season what we do and what we try to achieve and how they need to respond as well.

“They have been great - the last game against Burton the fans that were over there were fantastic! That kind of atmosphere is what we need to create in the home ground as well.

“It gives the players a boost, that extra push in the back to perform well. They know we’re playing against a good side but it’s good for the players if they’re behind the team and support them and give them that extra push to go forward.”

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