The Wokingham Paper

REACTION: Stam on a draw with Derby, poor defending and the red card

Jaap Stam
Stam was left frustrated by Reading's defending

JAAP STAM admitted his frustrations at Reading’s defending as they drew 3-3 with Derby County this afternoon.

Royals led 2-1 through goals from Mo Barrow and Liam Kelly to cancel out Kasey Palmer’s early strike.

Richard Keogh levelled before Tom Lawrence put the Rams ahead, only for Jon Dadi Bodvarsson to earn a late share of the spoils.

Chris Baird was show a red card for the visitors in the closing stages, but Derby held on for a point.

Here is what Stam said after the game.

On the performance…

Tiago Ilori looked shaky at the back

The goals that we conceded were not good. I think we gave away cheap goals. It’s not the first time that we’re saying that. Derby’s set-up was to sit and hold back in a 4-4-2 shape more or less and then wait for us to lose that ball and go forward. In the first half they couldn’t do it a lot but they scored because we didn’t clear the first goal well enough. After that you need to get back into the game, which we did very well, great goals from Liam Kelly and from Mo Barrow.

You want to keep that 2-1 score and then hopefully go forward and maybe go for a third one because you know they need to come and score and that maybe opens it up. Then they score a goal from a set piece, which I think is an easy one which can’t happen, but it does which is frustrating.

At half-time you talk about what we need to do, what you can expect in how to get more out of the game and maybe score that third one ourselves but before you know it they score that third one. They get space and can run, which you need to defend better, as easy as that. Then you need to get back into the game again. After that they had a short spell where they controlled the game but you need to keep pushing, you need to go forward. They were sitting even deeper waiting for the moments to win the ball. At the end of the day we get at least a deserved equaliser and then it’s only a point.

After the red card you keep pushing because they want to score that fourth one, but they defended it well and we couldn’t get that one. It’s at least a point. You can say it’s a good point against a team like that. I think we conceded three easy goals and if you do that then you make it difficult to win games.

On the defensive errors…

Mistakes are happening. Everybody knows that’s football. Before every goal everybody scores, there’s a couple of mistakes. We know that but we’ve mentioned it before and it is frustrating. I’ve told them that after the game as well. You can’t be happy with a point like that. Of course you can be happy if you get a point against Derby, but in a way by giving away these cheap goals and scoring three yourself, you don’t need to be satisfied with that.

On if it is a confidence issue…

Sone Aluko’s set piece delivery was poor

I don’t know if it’s a confidence thing. Everybody starts talking about confidence if you’re not winning games or if you’re in a certain position in the league. Sometimes it’s black and white. If you need to defend, defend and just kick that ball over the stand and that’s it and you’re not thinking when that ball is in the air in our box, chest it, control it and hold it up 10 times and then kick it out. It’s simple. Sometimes players need to make decisions without thinking too much.

Playing simple is the most difficult thing in football because players always want to do something extra, always do something different, always create something more or always give that pass that is going to decide the game. If you tell your players you can only have two touches, control it and play it simple, sometimes you get simple options and you can get simple opportunities and sometimes it’s easier to go forwards. But that’s not how football is, I know that. Sometimes it’s not always black and white. Players need to use their own brains and their own fantasy at times as well. They are free in doing that a bit higher up the pitch, but defending wise, defending set pieces, crosses, one-on-ones in their own half, you need to know what you need to do, win that ball and kick it out. Sometimes we need to do a bit more decisive defending wise.

On how to improve Reading’s set pieces…

Just kick that ball a bit simpler over the top. It’s not that difficult. Sometimes players want to kick it with a lot of pace and if you want to play that ball with a lot of pace, the accuracy sometimes is not as good. You need to take them over at least the first man if you want to be dangerous. If Mo, Sone or Liam Kelly take it, their ability is very good so they should be at times doing a little bit better.

On the fans…

I think they were very good today. They were supporting the team, helping the team out in times when it was difficult. In all fairness to them, very good.

There is always a discussion between certain people from the press about my relationship with the fans. My relationship with the fans is good. There’s only a couple of people maybe making some noise at times. If sometimes they say something then sometimes I’m saying something. It doesn’t matter how they react. I’m not saying I don’t like them. For every team it’s very good if the home fans are helping out the team. It’s not about me, it’s about the feeling the players need to have when they’re on the pitch. You could see today, it helps the players when the fans are doing it like today and other games they’ve done.

On the red card…

It was a tackle. They tried to do everything to stop Mo, they pushed him a couple of times, held him. They didn’t want him to have time to run at them. Because Mo was gone, Baird tried to stop him with that tackle. He flew in with two legs. I’m not saying it’s a direct red card or that the decision is good, but I’ve seen other referees give it.

On Yann Kermorgant…

Yann is getting better but he’s still out for a couple of games.

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