The Wokingham Paper

REACTION: Stam on defeat, Ilori’s injury and if he fears for his job

Jaap Stam
Jaap Stam says Reading were well below par during their defeat to Burton

Jaap Stam remains confident one win could turn around Reading’s fortunes after the Royals slumped to a 2-0 home loss against Middlesbrough this afternoon.

A 14th minute Grant Leadbitter penalty put Boro ahead before a sickening clash of heads between Liam Moore and Tiago Ilori saw the latter stretchered off and taken to hospital.

Britt Assombalonga added a second goal with quarter of an hour to play to leave Reading just two points off the relegation zone.

Here is what Stam said after the game.

On his side never getting going…

Jaap Stam

I’m not agreeing with you because I think we started very well in going forwards, keeping the pace of the game high and getting Sam into certain positions as well.

After that we conceded a stupid goal from a penalty and then you go 1-0 down and need to come back from that which is always difficult because you’re facing a team that has been dropping in deep, who is waiting for the moment you’re losing that ball and you come out on the counter attack with no hardly any intentions to play.

That makes it difficult to break them down. Creating opportunities is not easy. Sometimes you get into the box, you put crosses in and you need to give everything to be there and give everything at the end of it to finish them off as well.

On if he agreed with the penalty…

I don’t know, but I’ve heard that it was.

On Middlesbrough’s approach…

They were very defensive. That’s a way of playing and it gives them the points. We make two mistakes ourselves, we concede two and we don’t score and then you’re losing games.

On the injuries disrupting the rhythm of the team…

You want to have the tempo back but you need to have a look at the opposition as well, if they can give you the space to speed up the game. Sometimes you need to slow it down and wait for the right moment to open up.

You can’t play a game at 100 kilometres an hour every time, sometimes you need to wait for the right time to go and play forward. That’s what the team is trying to do. It’s difficult when the other team is dropping in deep. We need to do better and hopefully we can.

On Tiago Ilori…

It’s not looking good. He’s probably out as well for a while. I think it was (concussion).

On Liam Moore…

Liam had stitches as well but they are assessing him now to see how he is. Hopefully he can be available for Tuesday.

Leandro Bacuna missed out through injury

On Leandro Bacuna’s absence…

Leandro didn’t train all week because he had a knock from the game last week. He wasn’t fit so we couldn’t involve him in the squad but hopefully he’s going to be OK for Tuesday.

On nothing going his way at the moment…

That’s true. We don’t have any luck. Sometimes you have periods like this basically. You need to deal with that, learn from that and hopefully we can turn that around.

On Sam Smith’s first start…

Sam did well. He’s been working very hard. In the last couple of months he’s made a lot of progress, he’s bright, he’s putting a lot of work in. Sometimes he needs that little bit of luck at the end of it as well to finish it off but he’s one of the young players that we have a lot of faith in.

On Kermorgant coming on…

We need players like Yann. But we spoke about him for a long time already. Everybody needs to realise that he’s just getting back from an injury and being match fit takes a while as well. But it’s always good to have a player like him back in the squad as well.

On Tuesday night’s game against Nottingham Forest…

Every game is important. Not only Tuesday, this game was very important as well. We are always looking to get results and have a win and that’s what we did today as well. If you’re not winning, what can you say? I think the players did work very hard for it but you don’t get the result.

On if a draw would’ve been a fair result…

I think in the intensity of the teams and what their intentions are I think we deserved more yes.

On if he would fear for his job if Reading lose on Tuesday…

If people think they need to take another choice then that’s it. I like the club very much. If somebody else can make better results or do it better then they need to make that decision. This is how it is. We work very hard as a team, we try to get everything out of it but if there’s somebody out there who can do it better then they need to make that decision.

On if the players are lacking confidence…

It’s not about confidence because the players are not shaky on the pitch and not trying to risk things. The players still have a lot of confidence in what we can do. It’s all in small fine margins that can change or win a game. Last season we had all the luck with us to do that and now we don’t. Maybe we need to change it or step up a bit more if we can to get back into it.

On if one result can change things…

It can be. If you write a very bad piece, you feel bad about yourself. And then next time you write a very good piece and somebody is giving you compliments, you get confidence yourself as well and you still believe in yourself. You think, I’ve still got it. It works with everyone in all kinds of jobs.

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