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Jaap reflects on 'cruel' result

Royals boss frustrated by late Millwall comeback

26 September 2017

"Football can be a cruel game," came the opening question to Jaap Stam in his post-match press conference. "You can say that again," Stam replied.

Despite dominating possession and bossing the second half - and taking the lead through Dave Edwards' close range header - two late Millwall goals denied the Royals anything from a Tuesday night tussle at The Den.

"It's very frustrating. You know when you come over here it's not going to be an easy game," he began.

"They put the ball forward quickly, a lot of balls into the box and a lot of battles on the pitch, aerial battles, balls in behind, so you know you need to dig in deep.

"We were prepared for that. And we did quite well in the first half although we could have had more control pof the ball...but against teams like this it's difficult.

"Then in the second half, they tried to press us agin, but we got more time on the ball as they got tired, more time to go forward and be a threat and more spaces opened up. And we scored the goal from a set piece.

"Then, we're looking at scoring a second goal - but when they have set pieces, you know it can be difficult, and they scored the equaliser from the corner. You always need to be aware of their physicality - that's their strength, that's what they tried to do, and it worked for them in the end

"Then, another ball in the box, it falls to their player on the edge of the box, it takes a deflection and the ball is in the back of the net. And you've lost the game.

"It's very harsh, and everybody's very frustrated."

In injury time, the Royals still kept pressing for an equaliser and Dave Edwards was tripped inside the box but denied a penalty by referee Andrew Madley. The rub of the green seems to be going against Reading at the moment. 

"They didn't have many chances, but the two they got they scored with them. And at the end it was a penalty; Dave was first to the ball, he tapped it away from the defender, and the defender went into Dave. Even in extra time, you can still give a penalty for that.

"At certain times we're giving opportunities to the opposition. But not many. And yet still the opposition still seem to score one or two at the moment.  

"We need to stay calm, believe in ourselves and the results will come. The confidence is there.

"They've got three points and we've got nothing. As you say, it can be a cruel game.

"Now we go back home and look for that win against Norwich on Saturday."

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