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Interviews

"We had to fight with everything we had!"

16 May 2017

Stam's post-match thoughts as Wembley awaits...

Wow! We are going to Wembley! And the Royals boss allowed himself a smile and some moments of celebration ahead of nearly two weeks more work for him, his coaching staff and his players. Then, he spoke to the press...

Jaap on a magnificent win...
"We knew it would be tough game form the start. First half, we played very well. We were a threat in behind and we created a couple of good chances as well, especially in the first 25 minutes.

"After that, they had a spell where they controlled the game. They have some good players and we had to manage that. We were aggressive in our defending in the first half, so they had to play the ball early. Second half, we started well with the penalty from Yann - and after that it was about us having the belief to keep pressing them high up the pitch.
 
"We did that for several minutes and the after that the players began to think about the result and the importance of it. I have been there myself where you think about the result, as well as wanting to go forward.
 
"Fulham had a lot of control after that – but we still had some very good chances in that spell - and we had to fight with everything we had. That’s what we did and that is what we have done all season.

"It was a difficult second half but we worked very hard to get there. It’s not all about football in this league, it’s about results as I have been reminded of that a few times by you guys this season."
 
On how good Ali Al-Habsi was tonight...
"We know that Ali is a great goalkeeper. It’s not only today, it has been all season. He made some great saves and that is what we pay him for. Whenever someone could not get a block in, he was there to save.
 
On his goalscorer on penalties...
"Yann, with his experience and technique, you know that nine out of ten times he is going to score a penalty."
 
On what it means to him to get to Wembley...
"It’s great to be at Wembley. I’ve been there in my career as a player and go there as a manager – of course it is a different stadium now – but it is fantastic.

"There is lot at stake and it is going to be a very difficult game against one of two top sides. There will be nerves on the day and we'll need to control them. We did that tonight and also took some risks as well.
 
On the plan for his players now...
"The players have got a couple of days off but we don’t want to give them too many days off. We don’t want them to get into a holiday vibe. We have a lot of work to do to prepare for the final.
 
On whether he'll be going to Hillsborough tomorrow...
"I’m not going to Hillsborough. I’m going to sit on my sofa with my wife and kids. I have seen a lot of games all season. Whoever we face, they are two top teams and I don’t have to be there for us to prepare as well as we can. There are other things in life other than just going to games.



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