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Jaap Stam | "We need to step up"

Stam frustrated at conceding two goals from set pieces

30 September 2017

Royals boss Jaap Stam calmly assessed a frustrating defeat at home to Norwich City but was disappointed at conceding twice from set pieces, goals which cost the Royals any reward from this evening's encounter.

"I can understand the fans are frustrated, and I'm sure I don't need to say how we are feeling," he began.

"Defeats ruin my weekend just like they do the supporters' weekend. It ruins my week to be honest...right up until the next game!

"I have a mentality where I am always thinking about football, always thinking about the game, what happened, what we can all do differently to help the players achieve better results – that’s how I analyse every game.

"We spoke about how to start the game - we knew they were going to be pressing us high to try to play those balls in behind - but we kept playing it short too much and, in doing that you give them opportunities. We lost a couple of balls and then we concede a free kick from which they score their first goal.

"Then you need to get back into the game and fortunately we did that very quickly with Liam Moore's equaliser.

"And, after that, you see that drive. We were going forward more, we were a threat in behind their defence and that gave me a good feeling at half time.

"We talked at half-time about what we can do to improve, and we started well in the second half as well, looking to go forward.

"But we conceded the second goal, again from a set piece, same as at Millwall on Tuesday night - and by conceding goals like this you make it very difficult for yourselves."

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The question the manager is fielding most is what has changed between our form last season and a difficult start to the 2017-18 campaign - and it is a question that naturally the squad are trying to address.

"Everybody knows what we can do. Looking back at what happened last season, everybody knows how we can play, we all know what these players can do, we all know what they've done in the past...so the question is why is it not working right now?

"And that is what we are loooking at all the time, talking about. It's not working yet, we're not playing up to our standards yet, and although we didn't play badly, we know we must still improve .

"Last season we would have had that little bit of luck, the goalkeeper was in the right position to make that decisive save, or we managed to score that late goal ourselves. And sometimes, without playing very well, we had three points.

"Late on tonight, we got an opportunity with Bodvarsson and then Gunter hitting the crossbar, but it didn't go in.

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"The only thing we can do is try to turn that luck around and by believing in ourselves and working hard. We need to stick together and believe in what we can do.

"And there is always that need to improve. Everybody knows we need to step up, we need to be better in certain situations, we need to make the right decisions at the right time. Last season, more often than not, the players were making the rightr decisions. But right now it's going against us.

"The results will come. Sometimes you just need that win to give you that confidence. And we have some very big games coming up and a result against one of them can change everything, can give the players the confidence that they can beat the best teams in this division."

Next up after the international break, the Royals travel to Elland Road to face Leeds United.


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