The Wokingham Paper

REACTION: Stam on beating Blackburn, pressure and injuries

Jaap Stam has guided Reading up to third (Pic by Steve Smyth)

Jaap Stam was understandably pleased as Reading picked up their third straight win with victory over Blackburn at Madejski Stadium.

Yann Kermorgant’s brace and a Garath McCleary goal earned the 3-1 success which fires the Royals up to third.

Stam spoke to the media after the game.

On the victory…

I’m happy with the points and with certain parts of the first half with how we played. To go 2-0 up in half an hour gives you a good feeling. You’re always hoping you can continue in how you play and maybe score even more but sometimes when you go 2-0 up quite early in the game, players can feel a bit too comfortable and get sloppy.

I think during the first half that happened and we spoke about it at half-time that if we want to win the game we have to really dig in deep, be sharp and be focussed and give everything to score more goals.

They scored their goal and after that you’re always worried how the team is going to react, but we did well and McCleary scored the third goal straightaway which makes it a bit easier for the team.

On Kermorgant…

Yann Kermorgant bagged a brace

He’s not the biggest player but his timing is excellent. If we put the crosses in, he can finish with class. His heading is very precise and Yann is very important for the team.

On targeting promotion…

If we are up there towards the end of the season and you keep winning your games then you need to really go for it. Even when you’re a small team and you’re up there, you need to try and keep the momentum to stay up there. A lot of things can still happen. We’ve got six games left and if we start losing them then it can be very difficult to stay up there. We want to be up there and I think the team deserves to be up there.

On pressure…

Certain players if they’re up there, you get weak and lose. But this team is responding very well to the pressure. To be fair there is no pressure with us because we don’t put them under pressure. We only make them aware what can happen if they do well and keep working hard and keep playing like this, then it can be a very nice summer.

On injuries…

Jordan Obita came off during the Leeds game. We thought he might have a tear, it seems that it was a really bad cramp so he can be available for Norwich. Paul McShane won’t be back this weekend. He’s still going to be out.

On the top two…

I’m not looking at them. If we keep winning our games and they start losing their games of course you can say maybe there’s an opportunity. But we don’t need to compare ourselves with Brighton or Newcastle. We’re not at their level yet.

On Reece Oxford’s first start…

We know the quality he has. He is a young player and he still needs to learn a lot. You can say he learns by playing, I think he learns a lot by training as well with certain players. He needs to fight for his opportunities to play and it’s not easy for him because the other centre-backs we’ve got in the squad are quality players as well.

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