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Stam Reflects On Rollercoaster MK Dons Clash

The Royals may be in the hat for the EFL Cup third round, but only after a penalty shootout win over MK Dons, leaving Jaap Stam to contemplate a mixed evening in Berkshire.

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

The Royals progressed through to the third round of the EFL Cup after a tough fixture against League One side MK Dons. The game went to extra time and penalties, which the Royals won 4-2. At the end of extra time the score was 2-2, with Callum Harriott scoring both goals for the hosts. After the game, Stam spoke to the press and told GetReading:

"It was quite a night - cup football, like you say in England."

"We wanted to press them high - after the first few minutes we did that well and controlled the game. We created a couple of good chances and should have scored.

"But then they went 1-0 up because we didn't do things well - as you saw - and that makes things difficult because you have to get back in the game.

"We were playing a team who defensively were dropping in and not allowing much space."

How did the coach approach an additional 30 minutes? Stam discussed how clinicality was key for the Royals.

"We changed things a bit in the second half, created a couple of chances by getting in down the sides and then we scored the equaliser."

"We gave some spaces away and had a couple of chances to score - but then Callum gets his second and then you think that's it, just keep it tight.

"But again they score two minutes from the end and it goes to penalties - and you know then it's a lottery.

"It's about how you feel. The players could have been disappointed after conceding so late but they did well by scoring their penalties."

Stam had lots of praise for Harriott after he scored both goals in normal and extra time for, he added: "We're always looking for players who can score goals.

"Callum is a very quick player, he can go past defenders and he has the ability to score as well. So we are very happy with him."

Deniss Rakels and Liam Kelly both started last night but came off with what looked like bad injuries, Stam added: "Deniss has gone to the hospital. We think it was a bad challenge of his ankle but we're not sure how bad it is yet. From what I've heard it doesn't look good so he's going to have an X-Ray.

"Liam Kelly has a cut on his eyebrow and nose, so we don't know if he has concussion. We need to see tomorrow how he is."

The draw takes place this evening and with some of the bigger clubs joining this round, could Stam be drawn against his former club Manchester United, he said: "It would be nice. I would rather play them here.

"But to me it doesn't really matter who we play. Whether you play lower league teams or Premier League teams it's always going to be hard. I'm just looking forward to the draw. "