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Reading FC's Jaap Stam On Opening Day Victory

The Dutchman gives his view on an encouraging result against Preston North End.

Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Jaap Stam celebrated his first competitive win for the Royals in an opening day victory against Preston North End at the Madejski Stadium.

John Swift's first half goal was the difference between the two sides and a good performance showed what could be to come this season. This was only the second opening day victory the Royals have had in the past 10 years.

Stam told the official club website:

"It's very pleasing. Of course you want to win every game that you play. But of course at the beginning of the season, in the very first game, it's very important you start well and, especially with a lot of new players in the squad and a new system. I think we performed very well.

"If you look at the first half, how we played in possession, we kept the ball and we were patient, we created a couple of very good chances and I think we should have finished it off.

"We didn't and you know if you don't do that it's going to be difficult towards the end of the game. In the second half they played a bit of a different system, instead of a 5-3-2, they were putting us under a bit more pressure and sometimes we had a bit of difficulty playing balls through.

"But never the less we still had a very good chance with Deniss Rakels to score and make it 2-0. We didn't manage that, but we won and that's the most important thing."

New faces

Stam handed out five debuts from those he signed in the summer, but also academy products. Tuesday night the Royals face Plymouth Argyle in the EFL Cup, Stam added:

"We're probably going to make a few changes, but it's a game that we want to win as well.

"It's not a game that we are going to use for other players to get their minutes or to get their fitness levels up. It's a game that we want to win and we're going to take that very seriously as well."

Yesterday was an emotional afternoon at the Madejski, and Stam spoke about the fans, he added:

"I think the crowd was very good today, the team and players can feel that as well. Of course, it helps if the team is performing well, playing a certain way, attractive football, creating chances, getting forward.

"But it's very important that the crowd are helping the players out, cheering them on. Because sometimes, as you saw today towards the end of the game, the players need the support of the crowd to push them through."