Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Stam in favour of rotating players

JAAP STAM has defended his rotation policy following his side’s goalless draw against Championship leaders Newcastle on Tuesday night.

The Royals manager made four changes for the visit of the Magpies to the Madejski Stadium and has hinted that more rotation is likely for the remaining 10 league games.

Stam said: “At the moment, it’s not about individuals, it’s about the team performance in what we want to achieve together.

“We’ve got a squad with a few players and we can make choices to give a few a rest so that they can be sharper when they step back in.

“It’s important with the changes you make that you can still get results. Everyone in the squad knows what’s expected from them, what they need to do and the choices they make.

“Sometimes it happens that you can play and then maybe the next game, you’re not even in the squad.”

He added: “I think everybody is committed to that and we can keep that up until the end of the season.”

Reading enjoyed 70 per cent possession against Newcastle and almost grabbed a late winner when a shot from Garath McCleary skimmed the crossbar in stoppage time.

It meant the Royals had to settle for a point which keeps them in fifth, 10 points behind Brighton in the second automatic promotion place, meaning they can only hope for a play-off spot.

Stam believes his side were unlucky not to claim all three points.

“I thought we played very well,” he said. “We were patient on the ball. Newcastle played very defensively and looked to play on the counter-attack so it was hard to create chances. We did okay in the first half but totally dominated the game in the second half.

“We kept control and kept composure on the ball. We created a couple of chances and against a side like Newcastle you’re only going to get a few, so you have to make the most of them.”

Reading’s next Championship game is away to ninth-place Preston tomorrow (Saturday). Kick-off is at 3pm.

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