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Stam: Reading Got The Three Points And Worked Hard

What did the Dutchman make of Reading's narrow win over Cardiff City?

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I'm pretty certain there is nothing that Neil Warnock loves more than beating the Royals, and Cardiff made it a difficult afternoon for us, just Jaap's men played well, and got a fantastic 2-1 victory and a really important three points.

John Swift scored the Royals first after a superb backheel from Garath McCleary, before Cardiff equalised from the penalty spot, Ali Al Habsi was coming so close to making it two saves in two matches. Yann Kermorgant scored in the second half from a brilliant free kick to get such a valuable three points.

Jaap admitted it was a tough game, and he told the Official Club website,

"It was a difficult game. In the second half we really needed to work for it and it was tough.

"The space between the lines was not big enough for us to exploit, but we had a lot of possession, The pitch isn't very good as we know, so that makes if difficult for us to play how we want to play - we are having to concentrate more on our first touches, rather than looking how to play it forward. And if we have to take a couple more touches, it gives the opposition a split second extra to get close to you or close that gap.

"In the second half especially, we were losing the ball too quick and when they won it, they played the ball very direct up front to their big, strong strikers who can make it very difficult for you.

"We knew Cardiff were going to give everything - they need their points as well, so they set up very compact, making sure they didn't give us any space to play it through. We've played against a few teams like that now - two weeks ago here QPR played in the same way.

"We didn't play at our best and we didn't make the right choices all the time. But today, we got the three points and we worked very hard for them."

The win takes us back up to third above Leeds, with 52 points, which is exactly how many we picked up throughout the whole of the 2015/2016 season. It really does show that we have come so far in the past year. Jaap had kind words on McCleary and Kermorgant, he added:

"Garath has quality and it's important for a player to have the ability to change his mind at the last moment in the sense of taking a shot or playing it back. And Garath did that, putting one of his teammates in a position to score.

"And Yann has been very important for us in everything he has been doing this season - we know he's also got the ability to score free-kicks like that and thankfully he did today.

"The teams around us are very close, so it was good to keep the momentum going and it was a very important win in terms of the position we're in.

"You could see the players were a bit tired after Tuesday and there were a few niggles out there - but they kept fighting and in this league, against teams like this, three points are never going to come easy. But we got stuck in and got the win."

Next up for the Royals is Birmingham on Tuesday evening at St Andrew's. URZ!