clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Jaap Stam Praises Mentality After Reading's Comeback Win Over Rotherham

The boss admits that his side started the game poorly, but showed a good spirit to win the game after being 1-0 down.

Aston Villa v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Six points out of a possible six has made this Easter Weekend a very good one and has sent Reading back up to third with just three games remaining.

The Royals didn't make particularly easy work out of it against already relegated Rotherham after a very shaky start, but finally came out on top with a 2-1 victory.

Rotherham took the lead in the first half after a mistake from Ali-Al Habsi, but Lewis Grabban and John Swift scored in the second half to almost confirm our play-off place, but also reignite distant dreams of catching Newcastle up in second.

Jaap Stam praised the players for picking up the win after playing two games in three days, telling the Official Club website:

"It's very important at this stage in the season that you win your games, especially your home games.

"On paper, you're playing Rotherham who are relegated. But we knew it wasn't going to be easy playing against players who had nothing to lose.

"And we were one of only two teams to have to play with only one day between games - so it was very tiring. Two games in three days is a lot... and normally the second day after a game you feel more tired than one day after it. So today was that day.

"They started aggressively, we didn't. We weren't sharp enough and we needed to wake up a bit at the start of the game. But they scored and they dropped in and sat in their own half. That doesn't help you to win the game.

"But it takes a really strong mentality to win that game, to keep going, to keep that patience to get that equaliser and then the winner. It's a big compliment to this team in how they performed today - maybe not playing the best football for a number of reasons, but getting a great result.

"We know we need to handle the schedule, deal with two games so close together, and that's what we did."

Rotherham frustrated us for more than an hour but thanks to a superb volley from Grabban and then a simple tap in from Swift we now have a six point gap over seventh place Leeds United with just three games remaining.

"When they scored that goal, they dropped in deep and played 4-1-4-1, kept the areas very small, making it difficult for us. In that situation you need to stay calm, let the ball move quickly from one side to the other and let them run. And eventually, spaces open up.

"When we weren't playing well in the first half, we still got chances to score goals. And in the second half, we played a lot better, controlled the game and created good opportunities.

"When the first one goes in, there is a bit more pressure for them and we scored a second. And the players knew what they needed to do.

"Going down 1-0 near the start of the game, needing to get back into the game, needing to score that equaliser and then the winner... and they've done it. It is a great achievement. "

Next up for the Royals is a trip Nottingham Forest on Saturday, where a play-off place could potentially be mathematically confirmed.