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Jaap applauds 'brave' display at Derby

"We are starting to gel as a team" - Royals boss pleased with performance in Pride Park win

4 November 2017

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It's not often that Derby County lose at Pride Park and even more rare to concede four goals in front of their home fans. But Jaap Stam's Royals but their opponents to the sword this afternoon and could have run out even more convincing winners!

"It's always important how you start against a team like this and we prepared well," Stam began his post-match reaction.

"We know how well Derby have been playing in the last few games and everyone knows they were the team in form going into the weekend - they'd had a very good run, unbeaten in six I think.

"But we studied them - as we do every team - and we saw opportunities that, if we did well, we could take advantage of and make it difficult for them.

"And we succeeded in doing that!"

We certainly did. Two goals in four early minutes within the opening quarter of an hour set the tone as Reading completely dominated their hosts, who seemed stunned by a practically perfect first half performance.

"We knew they would give a bit of space away and if we could be brave and exploit that space, be aggressive both on and off the ball, we would get opportunities.

"We explored the space we got, went forward and scored goals. 

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"At 2-0 up, they had to come out even more and more spaces would open up and that gave us the third. They got one back with 20 minutes or so to go, but we went and scored the fourth. And you think it's done.

"We should have scored a fifth or a sixth after that because we created two very clear opportunities. But we didn't and they got a second before seven minutes of injury time are signalled. But defended and worked very hard throughout the game.

"We used the strengths in our own game, played our own way and came away with a very good win."

An international break now naturally halts the Royals momentum as we wait for a fortnight before welcoming league leaders Wolves to Madejski Stadium on Saturday 18th October, 3pm.

"If you're winning a couple of games in a row, you want to keep on playing, keep that momentum going. But with the injuries we've got, now we have some time to work on getting some of those players back.

"The players can have a couple of days off, some will go away with their countries, others who are in we will work with within the system and the injured players we'll work with to try and get them fitter.

"I saw Wolves play yesterday, they are a very good side. They spent a lot of pounds in getting players in and they have got a certain physique - a very high work rate as a team and combine that with the quality they possess we know they will make it difficult for every team they play against. That's why they're top of the table.

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"So we're going to be facing a very good team in two weeks' time, but we're a good team as well. We've got the confidence in ourselves in what we can do and hopefully we can do well in a fortnight's time."

"You saw from the performance today and you can see why we have confidence in our ability. And we're always looking to improve and do more and keep the pressure on ourselves to push ourselves forward.

"Everyone wants to be higher in the table...of course. But the teams are all very close together. Now we are starting to get the feeling again, starting to gel together and win points.

"This is an imporant win and a big result away from home. Every game we are playing, everybody needs to be 100% focussed and sharp. But this afternoon I am very very pleased with the team."

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