The Wokingham Paper

REACTION: Jaap Stam on victory, John Swift, injuries and if Reading can still make the play-offs

Jaap Stam
Jaap Stam was satisfied with a point against Bolton

JAAP STAM says consistency is Reading’s main focus after picking up a much-needed 3-1 win over Nottingham Forest this evening.

Royals sealed a first home victory since August thanks to John Swift’s brace and a Jordan Smith own goal to ease growing pressure as the club slid towards the Championship relegation zone.

Reading remain 20th in the table, but are now five points clear of the relegation zone and only eight points off the play-off spots with a game in hand.

Here is what Stam said after the game.

John Swift was the star of the show

On relief at picking up a win..

It’s not like I need to be relieved. The last two games that we’ve played we haven’t had the results we wanted but in the majority of the games we played well in how I look at playing football.

Quite a few times you don’t get the results that you want because of certain errors that we make ourselves like against Middlesbrough we played well but we didn’t get the result. A lot of people think you’re not playing well but that’s not the case.

Today we’ve done well, worked very hard again and scored the goals. That’s a compliment to the team that they still have the confidence in what we are doing and what we need to do to win games. With us the confidence was always there and of course we’re very happy with the result.

On two early shots setting the tone…

That’s what we’re always trying to do. Sometimes you can’t always have the shots in the first couple of minutes because defenders are blocking it or intercepting certain passes. Our intentions are always to go forward and to have as many shots on target as we can. You’re also playing against very good teams who are making it difficult for you.

On John Swift’s performance…

Everybody knows Swifty’s quality. He was unlucky in the last couple of weeks and months with injuries. Every time he got back into it you need to have your match fitness as well. He’s been playing and training well and looking fresh and sharp and today he scored two great goals and very important goals for us.

On winning in style tonight…

It always looks that you’re winning well when you score many goals. That makes it better and it looks like the performance is good as well. But I need to be honest, the football against Middlesbrough was even better than today but we didn’t win. If you win then people think you are playing better football, which is not the case in my opinion.

On following this win up on Saturday at Derby…

You always want to stay in that flow and keep that momentum and keep winning your games. Everybody knows that it’s not easy. We need to understand that we’re facing very good teams. Forest is a very good team that plays very good football. Middlesbrough is a very good team, just came down from the Premier League and Derby is a team that is

Joey van den Berg was forced off with a head injury

always going for promotion every season.

We are trying to get there but we are not there that we can say we need to go up straightaway this season. Or because last season we ended third so now we need to do that again. We need to work very hard to get the results. It’s not easy for us.

Going to Derby on Saturday of course we’re going to go for it again and try to get that result and they’re going to make it difficult for us but with a win behind us, hopefully you go over there with a better feeling, with confidence we can make it difficult for everybody.

On Joey van den Berg being taken off…

Joey got a collision in the box. He was on the floor – he got a knock from Macca and the striker as well at the same time. He had some headaches at half-time so he couldn’t go on.

On Tiago Ilori…

Tiago is feeling quite good but he still has got a lot of stitches in his head. He had a concussion so we are not sure if he can be available for Saturday. I don’t think it’ll be easy to get him in the squad.

On Liam Kelly missing out…

We took Liam Kelly off last week because he felt a muscle in his thigh after one of the passes that he gave. Again we’re not sure what we can do with him towards Saturday.

On other injuries…

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson is not back for Saturday. Sam Smith got a knock at the beginning of the game when he was chasing the defender. He made a tackle on that defender and I don’t know if he stepped on his shin or knee. He felt a lot of discomfort from that. He wasn’t fit after that.

On injury problems…

Vito Mannone produced some impressive saves

It is very frustrating. We spoke about it a lot over the last couple of weeks and we’re always looking for answers. But we’ve seen now as well what happens in games, you get knocks or kicks. For some reason if we get a kick the referee just keeps on going. It happens and we need to deal with that. We’re not going to use injuries as excuses for not winning games.

On Vito Mannone’s display…

He is a great goalie. We knew that and today he has shown that. He made very important and crucial saves at 2-0. Last season Ali did that and now Vito is doing that. Nowadays in the Championship a lot of teams are playing how we want to play. Sometimes games are a bit more open and opportunities are created and goalies need to make saves. Vito has done a great job.

On this win lifting some pressure after speculation about his job…

It always sells papers and everybody knows how it goes. It always creates a reaction with other people to sell more papers or get more attention. I know how that works.

Within the club, we believe in what we’re doing and what we need to do to hopefully go forward and make those steps to get another opportunity to maybe get to the top six and then have a shot at the Premier League. But it takes time.

Last season it was nice but it wasn’t the intention to do it last season. It’s not even the intention now. If it can happen then it’s nice but in where we are we need to grow as a team and a club and get a certain structure in the club so if we go up there that we can stay up there as well and not go up and next season go down because the structure in the club is not good enough. That’s how we look at it.

On if Reading can still finish in the top six…

We’re not thinking about that at all. We had a good win today, very happy with that but for us now it’s about trying to be consistent and try to get results each game.

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