Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Reading boss pays price for dismal run of results

READING’S Chinese owners relinquished Jaap Stam of his managerial duties on Wednesday following a dismal run of Championship results which have left the Royals just three points above the relegation zone with just eight matches of the season remaining.

 Under Stam’s reign the Royals have won just once in the last 18 games and failed to win in their last nine league games, collecting just four points from a possible 27.

A statement issued by the club said: “Reading Football Club announce that Jaap Stam has left his position as manager of the club with immediate effect.

“Majority shareholders, Mr Yongge Dai and Ms Xiu Li Dai, had wanted to give Jaap every opportunity to turn around what has been a difficult and challenging Championship campaign.

“Jaap has not wavered in the time, effort and sheer determination he has put in to try to steer the team away from the position we find ourselves in. However, after careful consideration, the decision has been made that a change is now necessary.

“We would like to thank Jaap for his hard work and commitment to the club, in particular noting what he achieved in a memorable first season in club management, and we wish him the very best of luck in his future endeavours.

“We will now focus on identifying and recruiting the right person to take Reading Football Club forward.

“The club will make no additional comment at this time but will provide further updates as soon as possible.”

Early names to be linked with the vacant manager’s post at Madejski Stadium include Paul Clement, Marko Silva, Mark Warburton, Nigel Pearson and Steve McLaren alongside former Reading players Graeme Murty and Phil Parkinson who are currently in charge of Rangers and Bolton Wanderers respectively. 

This season saw a reversal in  fortunes for Stam who guided Reading to third place in the Championship during the last campaign and a play-off final penalty shoot-out defeat at Wembley by Huddersfield Town in May last year. This time around Reading are struggling at the wrong end of the table.

Stam’s overall record in charge at Madejski Stadium, where he was appointed manager in June 2016, was 39 wins, 24 draws and 35 defeats.

Last Saturday the Royals were on the wrong end of a 3-2 scoreline against Norwich City at Carrow Road.  Mario Vrancic and Grant Hanley converted  corners to open a two-goal lead for the hosts before Liam Kelly pulled one back with an instinctive finish on 32 minutes. James Maddison won a penalty and slotted home to put City 3-1 up just before half-time before Sam Smith scored his first league goal for the club after 51 minutes to make it 3-2.

The Royals, who do not have a fixture this weekend,  are next in action on Good Friday when they entertain Queens Park Rangers (kick-off 5.30pm).

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