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Stam On How Reading FC's 'Lucky' Opener Changed The Game

After the disappointment of last weekend, a win was needed to prove that it was just a slight blip and Sheffield Wednesday were the opponents, and what tough opposition they were.

Michael Regan/Getty Images

The Royals weren't at their best, but they secured three points in a hard-fought 2-1 victory. Roy Beerens scored both goals, although his first took a huge deflection, before Wednesday scored late on to make it a anxious last couple of minutes.

Jaap Stam was proud of his players after the win, he told the official club website: "Last week, it didn't go for us. We've lost before and bounced back with a good run - so that's what we were hoping for today. We wanted a response and that's the kind of response you're asking for!

"Sheffield Wednesday have got a great team with quality players - but we have as well! And especially with it being a home game, we wanted to do well and get a result for the fans.

"We tried to play our own game, dominate possession - but in the first half they dropped in and made it very difficult for us. There wasn't a lot of space to play the ball through.

"We couldn't create a lot of chances and we needed to be aware that they can be deadly on the counter attack. So we didn't give that many chances away either.

"At half time we spoke about our movement and we wanted to do better. We scored a couple of goals - the first one with a bit of luck and that was enough to give the team a boost, give the players that confidence you need.

"We scored a great second goal through Roy, but they kept on pushing and they put another striker on the pitch so you know they're going to be going a bit more direct. And suddenly you are playing a certain type of football that you really don't want to play.

"But we've shown before we can play this type of game as well... there is a lot of player within the team, everybody wants to win their games, everybody wants to do well.

"At the end, we conceded that goal. And there were a lot of battles we needed to win and we've done well - compliments to the boys! They worked very hard for that win."

Battle

Stam had some nice words to say about goalscorer Beerens and the whole team after the game, he added: "He's a creative player. He's not the strongest of players physically compared to a lot of the other players in the Championship.

"But if he gets the ball in tight areas, he can create something and score a goal himself as well - that's what he's done today.

"As I said though, it's not about one player - the whole team needed to battle to get the points this afternoon and they did that very well."

Next up for the Royals is a tough fixture against Leeds on Tuesday night at Elland Road before travelling back up the M1 to Blackburn on Saturday. The Christmas Period has well and truly begun!