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Final pass or telling finish missing from frustrating stalemate

Royals boss Jaap Stam on trying to break down another team content to sit deep at the Madejski

25 November 2017

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"We could and perhaps should have won, but you have to score goals to win matches, and we didn't do that today," manager Jaap Stam began his post-match assessment of a stalemate against Sheffield Wednesday.

"The majority of the game, we dominated. We defended well and didn't give anything away...I don't know if they even had one chance to be honest! Vito didn't have to make a save.

"But you could all see their plan. Sit deep, wait to win the ball, knock that ball over the top in the hope that a striker could flick it on or Joao could run onto it and get in on goal.

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"And we had a couple of good opportunities, with Mo, Sone, Dave - but the only thing we didn't do was score that goal.

"And you need to score to get the three points. So we're disappointed not to get the win."

Carlos Carvalhal's men looked like they would be happy with a point throughout the ninety minutes which saw them sit deep, in numbers and only look to attack on the counter attack. And the Royals were frustrated by a visiting team content to put men behind the ball.

"I don't know if they even had one chance to be honest. Vito didn't have to make a save!"

Jaap Stam

"When a team is sitting that deep, any team who plays against them - even the top teams in Europe - are going to find it difficult to create opportunities. So we can't be expected to play against a team sitting in so deep, and create 10 or 15 clear's not going to happen.

"You have never seen us dropping in deep and waiting for the moment to come out on the break. That's a strategy of other teams, but it's not how we play. We want to have the ball, go forward and try to create opportunities and score goals.

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"And although it was difficult to get opportunities, we still created chances, we still played some good football, we still worked very hard to win the game. The only thing that was missing today was the goal.

"The last few games it has been a very similar story. We are dominating games, creating opportunities - but there's a leg in between a shot and the goal, a deflection that takes it towards the goalkeeper and not away from him, Bacuna got a touch today to make it difficult for Mo to score, Aluko was in the way of a Clement shot at the end - a little bit of luck is missing and maybe a bit of finesse needed from us in the quality of the final pass or the finish.

"We're never happy with a draw, we only want to win. And we could and maybe should have done better today. But we take a point and a clean sheet away from the game and look forward to Tuesday night against Barnsley."

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