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Jaap Stam On Superb Defensive Display By Reading FC

The Royals manager praises his defence against Bristol City, but warns against passing back so often to Ali Al-Habsi.

Ian Walton/Getty Images

Jaap Stam was understandably delighted last night after a brilliant 2-1 victory against a good Bristol City side, which gave us our fifth successive win in a row.

Garath McCleary made it 1-0 in the 13th minute after slotting home the rebound from his saved penalty, and Roy Beerens made it two shortly after with a superb team goal. Bristol City scored with minutes to go to make it a nervy finish. This was the first goal we have conceded in 446 minutes of Championship football.

Stam told the official club website: "We defended very well in the second half - the commitment shown by the back four or five was outstanding.

"We demonstrated that we can not only attack and play combination football as a team, but that we can defend as well... as a team.

"They worked very hard for that win, they threw their bodies in front of shots, they got blocks in, they won a lot of battles in the air - and it's not easy when you're playing against two tall strikers, when we haven't got the tallest squad.

"We were playing the ball back to Ali a bit too much which allowed them to put us under more and more pressure, when sometimes you need to go forward to defend even better. Attack is often the best form of defence.

"And if you concede one near the end, it's always going to be a bit nervy in the last few minutes. But I'm very happy with how we performed defensively."

Liam Moore will be out of next weekend's trip to Fulham after he picked up his fifth yellow card of the season. Moore and Paul McShane were absolutely superb and it didn't go unnoticed, Jaap said: "You need to have winners in your team to get results and do well. And Paul is that type of player - he is one of the first out onto the pitch, he pushes other players on to do well... and you can see in how he defends, he likes it.

"He loves to fight his battles and put himself in front of the ball with the shots. He's been outstanding for the team all season and he's a real leader as well. It is good to have players like Paul in the squad.

"And Liam is doing an outstanding job, both on the ball and defensively. The two of them are always talking before the game, keeping everybody else on their toes, making sure as a team we keep performing, making sure we don't concede goals, making sure we keep winning games. And you need players pushing others to stay sharp.

"We can't control every game and we were playing a good side with a certain quality and physique today. Teams will make it difficult for us at times - we know that. You always want to show your attacking side in matches, but today we showed our defensive side. And I have to compliment the guys in the dressing room for that.

"Five wins in a row is a good feeling and good for the confidence. So we look forward to the next one."

Next up is Fulham at Craven Cottage which looks as though it will be a sell out, before returning back the Madejski Stadium in two weeks time against Sheffield Wednesday. Now to celebrate what has been another superb weekend!