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Reading FC Manager Jaap Stam: I'm Very Proud of the Players

Jip Jaap Stam was Jip Jaap jubilant about yesterday's result and performance.

Reading v Fulham - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Happy Sunday everyone! I'm sure like me, everyone is enjoying what was an absolutely superb win for the Royals.

It feels good to be back fourth doesn't it! It was a nervy game, but we thoroughly deserved our three points against fellow Play-Off contenders Leeds United.

The passion in the players’ performances yesterday was absolutely top drawer and the celebrations at the end from both them and the fans was just brilliant. I haven't seen the Madejski bouncing like that for a while.

Yann Kermorgant had a lot to say in the week, and in the 21st minute, he scored the all-important winner. Every single player out there yesterday evening put absolutely everything into what was a difficult game to play in at times.

Leeds United fans favourite Jaap Stam was a jubilant man after the game, he told the Official Club website:

"I'm very happy with the win but also in the performance, in how we played. Especially in the first half, we played very, very well and created some very, very good chances.

"We had a couple of one on ones with the goalkeeper, hit the post - but didn't score. Luckily Yann had scored that important goal for us before that.

"In the second half, you know they need to change their game a little bit, do something different. We wanted to keep playing our own game like we had done in the first half, but it's not easy when they're pressing higher up, playing a bit more direct.

"We spoke about that at half time, maybe needing to play the ball quicker up front, making more runs in behind. And although we couldn't play like we did in the first half, we still created a couple of good chances.

"And towards the end, you know how they're going to play. Long ball, the centre back going up front, and it become a battle in the box. You need to work hard, dig deep, defend well -we've done that before and we did it again. I'm very proud of the players."

We are now seven points ahead of seventh place Sheffield Wednesday, and just one point behind Huddersfield after they lost their game against Burton Albion - although they do have a game in hand.

We were completely dominant yesterday afternoon but could have scored more. Roy Beerens had two good chances, Garath McCleary and a one on one with the goalkeeper and Kermorgant hit the post. It could have been a little less stressful!

Stam added:

"You saw how they were set up, sitting in a little bit, waiting for us to make a mistake to come out on the counter attack. But we totally dominated the game.

"We knew these games were crucial in us staying up there. In how we've been working, in what we've been doing all season, I think we deserve to be up there.

"Everybody's got that confidence in how we can play, what we can do, we know we can beat the best teams in this league. We want to measure ourselves against big teams like Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United and that's what the boys have done again today.

"We need to be consistent in everything we do, that's what we're aiming for. And hopefully we can keep it up until the end of the season. We've still got a lot of difficult games left to play, but - just like we did today - we're going to give it a go."

We go again on Tuesday night when Blackburn Rovers, who are in the middle of a relegation fight, visit the Madejski Stadium.