The Royals returned back to the Madejski Stadium this weekend to face an in-form Sheffield Wednesday, but honours were even with a 0-0 draw. Some may say that it was a frustrating afternoon, but there are definitely positives that we can take from the game, but our finishing has to improve, something that Jaap Stam is very aware of.
He told the official club website:
“We could and perhaps should have won, but you have to score goals to win matches and we didn’t do that today.
“The majority of the game, we dominated. We defended well and didn’t give anything away... I don’t know if they even had one chance to be honest! Vito Mannone didn’t have to make a save.
“But you could all see their plan. Sit deep, wait to win the ball, knock the ball over the top in the hope that a striker could flick in on or Joao could run onto it and get in on goal.
“And we had a couple of good opportunities with Mo Barrow, Sone Aluko and Dave Edwards - but the only we didn’t do was score that goal.
“And you need to score to get the three points. So we’re disappointed not to get the win.”
We’ve heard more often than not recently about a visiting team sitting behind the ball, so surely it is something we are now expecting, so maybe it is time to change it up to surprise times - like we did against Nottingham Forest and Derby.
But this style of play from visiting sides is increasingly frustrating Jaap, who added:
“When a team is sitting that deep, any team who plays against them - even the top teams in Europe - are going to find it difficult to create opportunities. So we can’t be expected to play against a team sitting in so deep, and create 10 or 15 clear opportunities... it’s not going to happen.
“You have never seen us dropping in deep and waiting for the moment to come out on the break. That’s a strategy of other teams, but it’s not how we play. We want to have the ball, go forward and try to create opportunities and score goals.
“And although it was difficult to get opportunities, we still created chances, we still played some good football, we still worked very hard to win the game. The only thing that was missing today was the goal.
“The last few games it has been a very similar story. We are dominating games, creating opportunities - but there’s a leg in between a shot and the goal, a deflection that takes it towards the goalkeeper and not away from him, Bacuna got a touch today to make it difficult for Mo to score, Aluko was in the way of a Clement shot at the end - a little bit of luck is missing and maybe a bit of finesse needed from us in the quality of the final pass or the finish.
“We’re never happy with a draw, we only want to win. And we could and maybe should have done better today. But we take a point and a clean sheet away from the game and look forward to Tuesday night against Barnsley.”