REACTION: Jaap Stam on defeat to Birmingham, if his job is safe, fan boos and January transfer window plans

Jaap Stam
Jaap Stam's Reading have not won in six games

Jaap Stam addressed a number of issues after Tuesday’s poor 2-0 defeat to relegation-threatened Birmingham City at Madejski Stadium.

Pressure is mounting on the Reading boss, with a number of fans making their voices heard both in the stadium and on social media after the latest defeat, which leaves the Royals just four points clear of the bottom three.

And Stam also said there will not be a lot of money available to turn things around in January.

On the defeat…

I think we worked very hard. I think in the first half we had opportunities ourselves to score which we didn’t. That makes it hard. We conceded a goal again from a set piece, which makes it even harder to get back into the game. In the second half the players tried to go forward but you also see if you concede that first goal that sometimes players get a bit more insecure or disappointed in their way of playing, which you don’t need to do in the position where we are, you just need to go forward and take the initiative.

Second half you try to push forward, you know that they’re still looking for that moment to come out on the break, if you’re not careful enough then you lose that ball yourself, which happened and they came out and scored the second one which makes it very difficult to come back into the game.

On why Reading aren’t winning as many games this season…

Because it’s a different season. Why did Leicester win the league and then the next season what happened, happened. You tell me. Sometimes a team is working hard, everything is going for them, they can do very well one season and then the season after that it’s not working how it was because the opposition knows you and what to do and you need to work with that and then it’s harder to win your games.

On if Reading are in a relegation battle…

If you’re not picking up points then you get into a certain situation where you need to work very hard. You always need to work very hard but it’s a difficult position, yeah. That’s how it works. There’s still a lot of games to go but we need to be very careful because we don’t want to end up there. Everybody knows that, but maybe that’s a danger for certain players as well to think too much about that. You can see today as well that you need to work very, very hard to get results and give away as little as possible.

On the teams down the bottom picking up points…

Pelle Clement was handed a rare start

Sometimes it’s easier to play against a top team than to play against a team at the bottom. I’m not saying there are bad teams in the league, sometimes you get into a certain position and it’s difficult to get out of it because of certain reasons, confidence. Birmingham are not a bad team.

On the first goal being crucial because of lack of confidence of both teams…

I think we started OK. We went forward, we had a couple of opportunities to score ourselves, sometimes you need to be a bit more decisive. Then you concede a goal like that and it gives the other team a bit of a boost because they don’t need to risk anything and you need to push on and risk that they come out on the break and score that second one, which happened.

On if Reading are close to getting any deals done…

There’s nothing in the pipeline as far as I’m concerned.

On whether he needs to bring in players to turn this season around…

You’re always looking for quality in the squad, that’s what everybody’s doing. That’s what we like to do as well. You need to talk to Ron (Gourlay) and Brian (Tevreden) about what we can and what we can’t do.

It’s always nice to have extra quality in the team but it’s also it’s also got to do with self confidence of players as well. If the confidence is low then players are not doing certain things that they normally will do when they’re feeling good and the results are working for you. That’s normal, I’ve been in these situations as well with the biggest teams in Europe and even the best players sometimes, if they’re not high in confidence then they make different decisions or they don’t see that moment where they can put somebody in front of goal and they’re not playing that ball because they’re playing the safe ball and that’s playing it back or square maybe.

On if he is confident his job is safe…

Dave Edwards was rested against Birmingham

I’m not getting into that discussion. I know it’s nice for you guys to write about that and it’s a common thing in England, you see that week in, week out but I’m not going to say anything about that.

On if he deserves more patience from the fans after last season’s success…

You need to ask them what they expect. I don’t know. They’re entitled to react in a way to how they want to. It doesn’t make it easier for us or for the team to perform, but if you want to react like this then you need to do that. Booing now and then cheering again when hopefully everything goes well? For the same players? I don’t know, it’s how it works.

On if Sam Smith is close to fitness…
No, he’s not close yet. Dave Edwards had a rest because he played a lot of games in a short period and he was feeling tired. It was good for us to give him a rest.

Mentally you’re asking a lot from the players, but to get out of it you need to be mentally very strong to get out on top.

On why no transfers are in the pipeline…

I spoke to Ron and Brian but it’s not like we can spend a lot of money now in January, no. We need to be creative in January if we want to do something.

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