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Stam lauds 'spirit and belief' in battle at Bolton

Boss leaves the north-west disappointed we're not taking all three points...

21 November 2017

Despite dominating from start to finish, Royals bsos Jaap Stam had to be content with a point from a game against a Bolton side contrasting in their style and approach.

"I'm disappointed that we didn't get three points," he said after a comeback that earned his side a 2-2 scoreline at the Macron.

"They got two balls on target and went 2-0 up, scoring two goals from two set pieces, their only efforts on goal in about 80 minutes - so we need to be better at defending set pieces.

"We knew they had that quality - you could see they were looking for free-kicks, looking to put balls into the box to score...and they succeeded twice.

"And suddenly you need to score two goals to get back into the game, and we created opportunities and should have scored in the first half - but didn't find the back of the net.

"We spoke about what we needed to do and we scored two goals in the second half. After that, you want the third one as well.

"But we needed to be a bit more patient when the adrenaline was running because if you rush things and you're losing the ball, sometimes the opposition can make the final stages difficult for you.

"And they came out on the break a couple of times and Anssi was very important at the very end in making two crucial saves.

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"You've seen him play in a couple of games in the cup and he's played a little bit in the under-23s, but it's difficult for a goalkeeper to get his minutes - and there is always that moment when he needs to step up and show himself.

"It's not easy for a goalkeeper to come straight in and do that, and he had very little do do for 80 or more minutes, but then he made two great saves at the end.

"From the first minute until the 80th minute, we controlled the game, tried to go forward and created opportunities to score.

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"We've got the spirit in the team to come back and the belief in ourselves - you saw that tonight. And we know that if we keep calm and use our quality well we can come back in games like these. But of course we want to win games, so I'm a bit disappointed.

"We're happy that we came from 2-0 down to get a point from the game - we certainly deserved that. But we're also thinking about how we went 2-0 down from two balls into the box. If we can avoid that, we'd be taking three points home tonight."


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