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"A lot of positives to take"

Royals boss reflects on cup exit but dominant display against Premier League opposition

19 September 2017

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"The result is not what we wanted...but sometimes you don't get what you want or what you deserve," Jaap Stam began as he reflected on a closely contested Carabao Cup defeat that was decided by a moment of misfortune.

"I think if you watch that game you could say we feel a little hard done by. We knew we were facing a good side, but you can see from the start of the game what our intentions were; to go forward, play our own game, get into their box and in front of their goal.

"We knew if we could play our game and do it well we'd have a chance against them. And we did very well in the first half and at the start of the second half, creating chances and dominating large parts of the game.

"But it's all about the result, I understand that too. And they scored their goal from a set piece our on the right - that can never happen, you need to mark your man so he can't put that ball in the net.

"We tried to push to get that equaliser. But after they scored their first goal, they dropped another defender in there and sat even more in front of their goal, making the spaces very narrow, very tight."

And a neat interception from referee Andy Davies helped Paul Clement's side kill the tie off with a decisive second goal.

"We wanted to pass it into one of our midfield players, the referee was in there, he touched it, they broke and scored that second goal.

"We need to accept it because we can't do anything about it. It happened. But just as we take our positions on the pitch, the referee needs to take his position on the pitch as well so he doesn't interfere.

"He did, and unfortunately for us he touched the ball to allow them to come out on the break and score - a goal which you could see was a big relief to them.

"After that, the game's not done, but it's very, very difficult to come back. But, overall, on the ball I think we did very well. And we'll definitely take a lot of positives from this game."

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