Jaap Stam enjoyed his first experience of the Madejski Stadium against Bournemouth in the final pre-season game before our opening fixture against Preston next weekend.
It was a positive result for the Royals with a good 1-1 draw against the Premier League side. Jaap seemed pretty pleased, as he spoke to GetReading reporter Charles Watts.
"I would have liked the win, but a draw was good as well."
"If you look at the game, the first half we could have done better. We didn’t press our opponent well enough. In midfield we needed to communicate a bit more in terms of who was picking up who.
"We gave Bournemouth a bit too much space to pass the ball through and from there they can be dangerous because they have a lot of quality in the team.
"Second half we did a lot better. The spaces were much smaller between the lines, we were closer together and we made sure there wasn’t much space for them to pass the ball through.
"And when we won it we got forward quickly and from there we scored a goal and had a couple of half chances as well.
"Bournemouth found it much more difficult and we dictated parts of the game – which is always good against a Premier League team."
Stam was quizzed on the notable absence of Yann Kermorgant and Garath McCleary, with news that McCleary may not available for next weekend.
"From what I heard today Yann is definitely going to be back next week – he will train on Monday."
"Garath might be a bit longer. Hopefully he will be fit for the Preston game but we’re not sure. The physios are working very hard to get them ready. "
With one week to go, the preparations begin with one last pre-season game against Cardiff, Stam added:
"We’ve got another game Saturday at the training ground against Cardiff. The ones who didn’t play against Bournemouth will feature."
"Then on Sunday we have the day off and then we come back on Monday and prepare for Preston."
Agree with Stam? What did you make of the performance? Comment below.