The Wokingham Paper

REACTION: Jaap Stam on relegation fears, changing tactics and transfers

Jaap Stam
Pressure is beginning to heat up on Jaap Stam

JAAP STAM insists Reading have the quality to climb up the Championship table.

The Royals are now winless in eight league games, stretching back to December 2, following today’s 1-0 loss against Brentford at the Mad Stad thanks to a late Lasse Vibe strike.

The latest defeat leaves Reading 18th in the Championship and now just four points clear of the relegation zone.

Here is what Stam had to say after the match.

On what went wrong…

In decision making and accuracy of passing at times that it’s not good enough. Sometimes in winning the second ball and anticipating situations we need to do better. When you get a moment where you can score, you need to take that opportunity and put it in the net. It doesn’t happen and then they come out and score. Then you need to get back into it which is difficult.

On the goal…

We’ve had that a couple of times this season, having an opportunity to score and not doing it and then the opposition comes out and then they score. That’s very frustrating of course.

On being just four points off the relegation zone…

Everybody knows that. It’s frustrating and everyone needs to understand what we need to do to get out of that. It’s not going to go by itself. You need to work very hard as a team, everybody working together to get out of this. It’s a difficult situation, everybody knows that but you can see as well that it’s very difficult to get out of there. We need to do things better but we’re also playing against good teams.

On if this squad is good enough to push up the table…

There is enough quality in the team to do better than this. But it’s about making the right choice, confidence and stepping up and changing our own game.

On confidence…

Of course you see it dipping. It’s disappointing because sometimes if confidence is high they are taking risks and everything is a bit easier than how it is now. But sometimes you try to show the players what they need to do but for some reason then they make a different decision because at that point maybe they’re not confident enough.

On the difference to last season…

It’s frustrating. It’s difficult but not only for me, the players feel it themselves as well. It’s not like they’re doing it on purpose, everybody is trying their best and they’re willing to work very hard for that. It’s a learning process.

Last season we had a very good season and we had a fair bit of luck as well. We did well. The opposition we played last season didn’t really know what we were going to do so they gave us a lot more time to play. Now you can see that’s not the case. They know us, they know the players that we have. I mentioned it last season as well to the players that to do well again this season, everybody needs to step up because if the opposition is pressing you at a higher pace, you need to get into a certain position and with your first touches you need to be very quick in making options. Everything is related to one another.

On teams working out how they’ve played…

We’re not always sticking to the same thing. We’re changing. If anybody knows about tactics they can see as well that sometimes we’re trying to change things, to create more opportunities for ourselves.

On how desperately he needs to strengthen the squad in this transfer window…

I can be very desperate but we need to have the names and we need to have the opportunity to do that.

I don’t know how close we are. There is something possible, I know that but not a lot if we’re honest. You’re looking at what players have got the quality to add something to the squad. But everybody knows if you want to buy somebody in January, and especially a very good player, it’s going to cost you a lot of money. I need to depend on other people as well.

On if Reading have made another bid for Yoann Barbet…

I don’t know to be honest. We know him well but I don’t know what they’ve done at the moment.

On if the owners were here today…

I don’t think so, no. I spoke to them last week. Everybody wants to step up and win games, nobody more than ourselves. We spoke about that but they understand a big part of the situation and what they eventually need to do.

On if the owners are worried about relegation…

They probably are. Everybody should be because we’re worried about that as well but everybody needs to step up and work hard to get better results. The teams that you’re playing aren’t going to say here you go, take these points home. You need to work very hard for it.

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