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Jaap Stam On Win Over Wigan: This is a Great Achievement for the Club

The boss had his say after Reading confirmed their place in the end of season play-offs.

Reading v Wigan Athletic - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Reading confirmed their play-off place yesterday afternoon with a 1-0 victory against Wigan Athletic - a brilliant achievement for the club after the past couple of seasons.

I don't need to remind you all that plenty of pundits had Reading to be relegated this season, but Jaap Stam, his coaches and the players have had a superb season and rightly deserve their place in the end of season lottery.

Yann Kermorgant got the all important goal yesterday, his 17th of the season, whilst Ali Al-Habsi won the player of the season award. A day for celebrations after a great campaign at the Madejski.

Stam was of course a very happy man and was very proud of his players, telling the Official Club website:

"When I joined, I watched some games that this team played last season and saw how they played, how they set up. The question was whether these players could play how we want to play and the only way we'd know is to start working with them.

"We took some of them out of their comfort zone and you gave them the confidence, allowed them to make mistakes, tried to help these players develop, grow, become confident in doing certain things both individually and as a team. And we started to make steps.

"From the beginning of the season, ending in the top ten was going to be a big achievement based on the last couple of seasons and the quality that there is in this league. But these players have just got better and better, made so much progress.

"They bonded well, the atmosphere within the team, within the club has been very good. That helps, especially when you get results as well.

"And it's all down to them. We can give them little tips in what they need to do, but they've been open to it and willing to learn from the start."

Kermorgant scored the winner in which was a lethargic performance from the Royals. With Wigan fighting for their lives at the bottom of the Championship, they played well but sadly results went against them, whilst we managed to hold on.

"It wasn't the easiest of games, playing against a side who needed to fight for their lives. And we'll need to step up for the play-offs. We'll need to play better." Stam continued.

"But it's a big achievement that we're up there, that we're in the play-offs. And if you're there, you want to go up, you want to give it your best shot.

"But there's no pressure on us. We are very happy with what we've done already this season - nobody expected us to be up there. Although when we started the season, we had a lot of confidence in the team and the players we had. And they've performed well.

"We're very happy we've made it. We have been up there all season in the top six, but we knew it was going to be difficult to stay there as we came to this stage of the season, when every team is playing for something.

"We don't put the players under pressure, but they know the importance of the games we need to play. Everybody was very aware of what we needed to do today. They did it, they worked hard for it and it's a big compliment to them.

"So we're happy to be up there. And we've got another couple of games to go."

Next up for the Royals is a trip to Burton Albion in the final game of the regular Championship season. The top six is now confirmed, and we will take on either Huddersfield, Sheffield Wednesday or Fulham. But we can't be complacent next weekend, we must make sure we get a good result to make sure we finish either third or fourth to get a home fixture in the second leg of the play-offs.

The boss was feeling pretty relaxed about the prospect:

"Everybody thinks there is pressure in the play-offs and, for certain teams, I can understand there is pressure. For us, there is no pressure.

"This is a great achievement for the club. And now we're going to give it our best shot - it's a challenge. If we are in good shape, we can make it difficult for any team out there. And that's what we're going to look to do."