The Wokingham Paper

Jaap Stam on momentum, Adrian Popa and Tiago Ilori injury blow

Jaap Stam
Jaap Stam spoke to the media after beating Cardiff

JAAP STAM was delighted to record a second home win in a week with a narrow 2-1 success against Cardiff City this afternoon.

Goals from John Swift and Yann Kermorgant cancelled out Joe Ralls’ penalty, but the win came at a cost with the news that defenders Joey van den Berg and Tiago Ilori could be set for a spell on the sidelines.

On the win…

It’s very important in the position where we are now. The teams around us are very close so

John Swift broke the deadlock

it’s good to keep the momentum going and keep winning the games. We knew what Cardiff’s qualities are, a lot physique in the team and they need their points as well. They tried to stop us playing by being very compact and not giving us the space to get through and then be very direct going forward. We’ve played a lot of teams like that.

There was a lot of space to play, they gave us a lot of time but if we want to use that well then you need to play your best football as well and we didn’t play the best or make the right choice always. You need to keep the ball and move it from side to side to wear them out and eventually they get tired and you get spaces and you can get chances.

We got stuck in there. Some players you can see were a bit tired but they kept defending very hard, working very hard and eventually we get the three points.

On the pitch…

Everybody knows the pitch is not as good as what we want. It’s difficult to play your football because your main focus first is on the focus of the first touch rather than where you can look forward and pass it. That gives them a split second to get closer to you or close that gap in between.

You need to have a good pitch to keep possession and make one-twos in small areas. We’ve spoken with the club about it. They know that we need to have a new pitch because they haven’t renewed it for the last couple of years. But it’s not only us that has to play on it, the opposition does too.

On the penalty…

To me it seemed they were both running to the ball. Of course there was some contact and if a player goes down then nowadays penalties are easily given.

On Gunter at left wing-back…

Tyler Blackett wasn’t fit. He had a problem with his calf after the last game. Jordan Obita had a problem with his shoulder and in this league we need to have fit players to get results.

On van den Berg…

He’s got a hamstring injury. I don’t know exactly how bad it is, the physios are looking into it. Probably he’ll have a scan tomorrow if possible but it’s going to be difficult for the game against Birmingham.

On Adrian Popa…

I know that Brian (Tevreden) is working to get him in the club. I don’t know how close it is but we are working on that, yes.

We are still looking for one or two players because some players are struggling with niggles.

You need to have a big squad with quality so that makes it easier towards the end of the season to stay up there.

Some clubs have interest in our players as well but we don’t know what we can do. I think there are several teams interested in Dom Samuel but we need to make a decision on that because if you let somebody go then you need somebody to come in as well.

Joey van den Berg is set for a spell on the sidelines

On Ilori’s injury…

Tiago has got an injury. He is going to be out quite a while. When he came on against Fulham he passed the ball around the corner and his foot got stuck in the pitch. He did one of his ligaments. Not completely ruptured but there is a little damage on it. Not his cruciate but it’s going to be 4-6 weeks probably.

It is a big blow. We needed him. We brought him in to have somebody extra in defence so we can rotate. Now he is out and Joey is out as well so we really need to puzzle in what we can do.

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