Jaap Stam left the Madejski Stadium slightly disappointed last night after a goalless draw against the league leaders Newcastle United.
It was a really great game with some great saves by Ali Al-Habsi in the first half which kept us in the game. Then in the second half the boys played really well and thoroughly deserved their point, but we could have possibly got all three points after Garath McCleary hit the post in the final seconds. The Royals remain fifth in the Championship, seven points above seventh place Fulham.
McCleary returned last night after missing Saturdays fixture against Wolves and looked almost back to his best. Stam told the Official Club website after the game, "We could have won it at the end with the opportunity with McCleary.
"Today he looked sharp, aggressive and I think the week he had out of the squad was good for him - hopefully he can keep that up.
"I always want to win. We weren't talking about how nice it would be to get a point ahead of the game - even against a side of this calibre, we were trying to create a plan to win this game.
"And especially in the second half we played very well. We were calm in possession - and if they don't pressure, why should you hurry up and go forward against a team with the quality of Newcastle.
"The way they play, the quality they have - we had a warning or two on that a couple of times in the first half when sometimes we were too eager to go forward, we lost the ball and then they're out on the counter attack, something they do very well.
"And in the second half we learned from those warnings and we did it a little better. We were secure at the back, very patient on the ball, we kept possession, let them run and eventually created a couple of very good chances.
"We created a great opportunity in the very first minute in fact. But the only remark to make is, if you get a couple of chances against a team like this, you have to score at least one of them. We didn't, and it happens. And we didn't concede a goal, so that's a good thing to take away from the game.
"We knew this game wasn't going to be easy, because they wanted to keep winning to get closer to becoming champions. But we wanted to have a result as well today to stay in the top six - and looking at the other teams in the league, they all seem to have drawn as well, so that's good.
"Of course we're happy with a point against Newcastle. But if you look at the game, we also know we could have got the three."