JAAP STAM says Reading did try to change their style of play during this afternoon’s 2-0 home defeat to Millwall.
Second half goals from Mahlon Romeo and Lee Gregory gave the Lions just their second away win of the season and left Royals 18th in the Championship after a fourth straight league defeat at the Mad Stad.
It could have been even worse for the Royals, who were perhaps fortunate to go in at half-time level after Gregory had a goal chalked off before Steve Morison also hit the crossbar.
Mo Barrow was the stand-out performer for Reading, causing havoc down the left wing, while Tommy Elphick looked impressive at the back before being forced off injured.
Here is what Stam had to say after the game:
On the defeat…
Very disappointed. Not that we think we can win games like this easily, not at all because they’ve got a physical team that play in a certain way. They make it difficult for every team in the Championship.
In the first half we didn’t create enough. Sometimes we played quite direct in going forward. By doing that, it makes it at times very difficult to keep possession and play as well. They are strong in the one v ones. It was difficult to get into your rhythm.
But it was 0-0 at half-time. You talk about what we can change, playing a bit more direct forwards but also keeping possession at times. I think before they scored we started the second half well with Mo Barrow having a couple of occasions on the ball going forward,
getting into the box, playing the balls, unfortunately no-one was on the end of it to score.
They scored their first goal from a deflection and you then need to get back into the game which is not always easy. You try to and then they get the second goal as well a couple of minutes after that from losing the ball ourselves. 2-0 down, it’s very hard for us to come back into it.
On Tommy Elphick’s injury…
I don’t know exactly how bad it is. It doesn’t look good because there was nobody in the area when it happened. He twisted his knee. He felt something. It was quite painful otherwise you’re not going to go off.
He did well I think when he was on the pitch, very well. But then you get an injury like that and that’s very disappointing.
On his decision to bring off Tyler Blackett…
It was a tactical reason. Normally we play three at the back against two strikers. Tyler was in there but you want to bring Jon Dadi up front with Chris Martin, two up front with Mo on one of the wings and G-Mac on one of the wings. That means you need to play a one v one at the back so you need to make a choice to take somebody off.
On Blackett being booed off…
If a crowd is reacting in a certain way against your own team then it’s not good for any confidence in decision making for players. That’s sometimes what you saw in the first half as well.
On boos from the fans…
If player on the ball can’t see the solution themselves and they hear people shouting from the crowd “forward, forward, forward” it puts them into a certain mood that they’re not sure what to do at times. You need to focus on your game and what to do and try not to focus too much on the other things. I haven’t spoken to the players about that but I assume that’s how the players are feeling at times.
On fans calls for a change of style…
They’re asking us to be direct going forwards. Especially in the first half we did it a lot. Then you still see it’s not always easy to do the things you want to do.