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Stam | "We were focused, sharp and in control"

Royals boss delighted with victory the players deserved

14 October 2017

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Leeds were subjected to their first home defeat of the season and only their third loss at Elland Road since November 2016 as Jaap Stam's Royals deservedly stole victory with a late Mo Barrow strike - and Stam was understandably delighted with the performance and the three points.

"We were very focused, very sharp, in control for the majority of the game. We didn't give anything away especially in the first half - the only critricism of the team is maybe we should have scored more goals on the day," Jaap began.

"We very composed in how we we set up, the players were very confident in ewhat they needed to do - sometimes going forward, sometimes dropping in a little and giving them time on the ball...they didn't like that very much. And then when you win that ball, we went forward and created opportunities. 

"We are all delighted. Not for personal reasons, but for the team - if you look at the team and what they've been doing in the last few weeks, it hasn't been easy because everyone wants to have results. And when you don't get results, people start asking questions.

"But overall today, it was a very, very good performance and I'm very pleased. We deserved the win."

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Stam slightly adapted his side's tactics to thwart Thomas Christiansen's team's threat and it worked.

"We made the decision to drop a bit deeper at times, with the 9 and the 10 pressing together and the wingers coming inside a bit more - to not give them the space they like.

"We saw games they've played and how they wanted to play today. They like to have that space for their striker or the midfield players to run in behind into - we analysed them very well as we try to do with every opponent and we allowed them a bit more time on the ball.

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"I also changed it at the back a bit, Leandro has played at right-back before - at Villa he played for a long time as a right-back - and I wanted to put him on the right side and Chris on the left, with Tiago and Liam in the middle. And it paid off. They all did very well."

And a managerial masterstroke also led to the goal, scored by his substitute Mo Barrow - who could have had another were it not for the acrobatics of Andy Lonergan in the Leeds goalmouth.

"Sometimes you need to be a bit lucky as a manager as well, but we all know the ability of Mo, his pace, his one v ones, his scoring ability - if he gets into a position to score we know he can do that.

"And especially over here, he didn't play a lot in his time at Leeds and every player wants to show himself against his old team."

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The Royals now go to Bramall Lane next weekend, with free travel provided by the club to fans who are heading back up to Yorkshire to watch us take on the Blades.

"I know what the team can do," Stam continued. "In  football, it happens that you get a run which isn't that good. We're not going to be winning every game in the league.

"But we want to do well of course and we've got the confidence that we can do well. I'm pleased for the players that we got this win - I want them to do well because they are working very hard to get results. And we've got real belief in ourselves."

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