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Monday, 22 January 2018
PRESSURE is mounting on Reading boss Jaap Stam after his side slipped to a third straight league defeat.
It has been a miserable festive period for the Dutchman with a 2-0 defeat away to Bristol City on Boxing Day and a 2-1 humbling at the Madejski Stadium against Burton three days earlier.
The Royals have now won twice in their past nine games and have dropped three places in the Championship table.
They are now eight points off the relegation zone and sections of supporters are calling for a change after a series of lacklustre performances.
Stam has bemoaned his side’s luck at both ends of the pitch, singling out his goal-shy attackers and ruing the “silly” goals conceded.
“It’s very frustrating,” he said. “We need to deal with this little run and take our opportunities to get out of the run.
“The players are very disappointed at not getting results — especially when you’re very close — you are getting opportunities but not scoring them, or you’re conceding silly goals.”
In their 2-0 defeat away at Bristol City the Royals got off to a slow start as they struggled to keep possession.
Their best chance of the first half came after about 15 minutes when Jon Bodvarsson slid a pass wide for the onrushing Mo Barrow who dragged his shot wide.
Royals squandered another opportunity to take the lead early in the second half but then, with an hour gone, Aluko looked certain to score when he latched on to a parried shot from Barrow but he was dispossessed by a well-timed challenge.
At the other end of the pitch, pressure finally told when Jamie Paterson gave the hosts a deserved lead following a passing move.
The Royals rang the changes in search of an equaliser but in the dying moments late substitute Lloyd Kelly doubled the Robins’ lead with a deflected effort.
Stam said his side were unlucky to not come away with anything.
“You couldn’t say that one team played better than the other today,” he said. “The finishing needed to be a bit better from us, but we need to have that bit of luck too.
“The players worked very hard to get a result but football is about not conceding and scoring goals yourself.”
Reading’s next game in the Championship is tomorrow (Saturday) away at Barnsley, kick-off 3pm, and they will play at home on January 2 against Birmingham City, kick-off 8pm.
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