Stam pleased with Royals form ahead of Championship play-offs

Date published: Monday 8th May 2017 11:33

Reading boss Jaap Stam believes his side head into their play-off semi final against Fulham full of confidence on the back of a final day victory.

Joseph Mendes set the Royals on their way to victory over Burton Albion as early as the third minute. Then when Jordan Obita curled in a spectacular second midway through the first half it looked to be a cruise to victory for the men from Berkshire.

Yann Kermorgant’s clinical 12-yard strike had Reading three up in the second half before goals from Ben Turner and Cauley Woodrow reduced their advantage to just the single goal.

Ali Al-Habsi produced a stunning save to deny Will Miller and substitute Lewis Grabban sealed victory for Stam’s side late on from a penalty box scramble.

Stam was suitably satisfied with his team’s performance and form heading into the play-off semi-finals against Fulham.

“We have always been confident in what we are doing,” said the Dutchman.

“It is always nicer when you can go into the play-offs with a win. We are very happy.

“It is going to be two very interesting games against Fulham now. They are a very good side but so are we.”

“Burton made us work hard for it. We knew that with it being their last home game they wanted a result and they made it difficult for us. I thought we scored four very good goals today to win the game.”

“We always look to play a passing game but sometimes, like we did today, we chose to drop in deep a bit more and then come out on the break to score goals and we did that very well today.”

“Everybody makes changes at this time and I think the play-off games are totally different to the league games where you have 40 or so games to change things but now we have to go out and do it and ask lots of different things from people and maybe from myself as a manager.”

Burton boss Nigel Clough felt that his side contributed to an entertaining encounter as the curtain came down on Albion’s first season in the second tier.

“I thought we deserved more than a defeat from the game. We played well throughout the game. The first goal was messy and a bit scrappy early on but the second goal was as good as you will see all season.”

“With all the other results going the way that they did today it just goes to show how massively important that point was for us at Barnsley a week ago.”

“They were a bit more clinical than us today. That is why they are third in the league and may be in the Premier League in a few weeks time.

“The effort of our lads was really good today though. We had a game full of goals on the opening day when we lost at Forest and that could have been five or six all. Today’s game was the same with the chances that both sides had.”

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