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"These are the moments you play for!"

10 May 2017

Royals boss Jaap Stam is relying on his players 'doing the right things' on the day!

“It’s been a great season. Ending up third in the league is a great result and the boys have done very well.

“And we’ve spoken many times about what they’ve done this season and the mentality that we have in this group.

“But at the end of the day, everybody wants to win trophies, prizes. Everybody wants to end up somewhere.

“We’ve ben in the top six all season, we’ve finished up there and now we go into the play-offs against a very good side in Fulham. It’s going to be interesting. I’m looking forward to it!”

Royals boss Jaap Stam was in typically relaxed mood this afternoon, but he is certainly aware of the importance of these two games against Fulham and, regardless of how much of a success this season has already been, he is also aware that we have a chance to make it even better!

“Within the season you play a lot of games, 46 across the league season along. And if you lose a game, you can look to the 30 odd we still have to play and try to improve.

“But in these games, you need to do it! It’s two games – and if you want to go up, you have to do well, you have to be the better team over the two legs.

“And that brings a different vibe, atmosphere to the game. We will want to play your own game, we want to keep playing how we have been throughout the season, with just maybe a few details a bit different here and there. But we want to keep doing the same things we have been doing all season.

“There is a lot of attention on this game and importance in terms of where we can end up. But these are the moments you play for as a player, the moments you want to have, moments you enjoy.”

The Royals had their penultimate training session in glorious sunshine this morning…so the preparation for a return to Craven Cottage is almost complete.

“It’s nice weather, we’ve had a great training session today, tomorrow they can have a breather, then Friday we have another training session. And then we need to be ready for the game on Saturday.

“That’s how we always work, we will keep preparing the players as best we can, and come Saturday we will see if what we have done was the right choice.

“However, as a manager and coaches, you can give them loads of advice - but on the day the players have to do the right things and make the right choices. When they step out there, they need to do it. And everybody is looking forward to it.”

And that includes the fans! Our away allocation of 2,000 tickets were sold within a matter of hours after going on sale on Tuesday morning and the Royals boss is hoping we can make it a magnificent Madejski atmosphere in the return leg on Tuesday night!

"The fans have been great this season – the fans who went over to Burton last weekend were fantastic! That kind of atmopsphere is what we need to create in our home ground as well on Tuesday night.

"And away from home on Saturdaty, the fans know it won't be an easy game. But it is up to them to give the players that extra boost, that extra push in the back to play well in both legs of this semi-final."

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