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"Now, we've got nothing to lose!"

7 May 2017

Stam turns his focus towards Fulham after ending the season in style at Albion

"It's better to go into the play-offs with a win, rather than a bad result and with a strange feeling going home. So we are pleased with the result," Royals boss Jaap Stam began his post-match assessment of today's six-goal thriller at the Pirelli Stadium.

"It was a very open game, they came out for their last home game wanting to do well in front of their fans. And they have had a great season and have achieved a lot.

"But it is the same for us and we wanted to bring certain qualities to the game too. And we scored four - the players who scored have done so in previous games as well, so we already knew their qualities and what they can do.

"We conceded two goals in the second half, goals we don't want to be conceding - but overall, in how we've played today, what we've done throughout the season, the players have done a great job."

Fulham will be our play-off semi-final opponents - victory today ensured the Royals would finish in third place, the club's seventh-best finish in its 146-year history. So in stark contrast to the party atmosphere that greeted the Royals at Burton today, all attentions now turn to a trip to Craven Cottage next weekend!

"The play-off games are totally different to league games - hopefully we can do well in those games and maybe go to the final. But first we have to look at the first game of course.

"We know that these games will be different in terms of the stress, the tension, the importance placed upon these games as well. But we've got nothing to lose.

"We made it into the top six, we finished third in the league...we'll just keep doing the things we've been doing all season and hopefully we can keep getting results.

"The teams who have ended up in the playoffs are all quality teams, with very good players, who all play in a certain way that can make it difficult for each other come these play-off games.

"We just need to maintain our form, maintain the mentality we have within the squad, dig in and keep the same work rate we need to put in to get results.

"We'll spend this week looking at the opposition, seeing what we can do to make it difficult for our opposition. It's going to be an interesting week and I'm looking forward to it."

Stam left the final word to praise his players as the 46-game season drew to an end with another victory to savour.

"We are very happy to have finished the season with a win and ending up in third in the league. But there is still no end to this season. And it's always nice to end the season with good results. We've had a great season. But can we end the season even better than what we've achieved so far?

"The players are convinced we can do well. And I'm proud of the team and what they've done this season. We started pre-season playing in a certain way, playing differently to how they have been playing in the last couple seasons.

"It has taken a lot of work, effort, but they were willing to open themselves up and to learn. It's all been about learning, getting better as a squad, as a club, as individuals. And the players have been tremendous this season."



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