The Royals returned to the Madejski on Tuesday night in The Carabao Cup with a 2-0 victory against Gillingham.
Liam Kelly got both goals for the Royals in a good second half display to make round two of the competition.
Jaap Stam was happy with the performance, he told the official club website:
“I’m very pleased. Every game you play, you play for the win - so I'm very happy with the result. But it’s also important in how you play. We didn’t want to just scrape through to the next round, but we wanted to win by keeping possession, creating opportunities, going forward, not letting the opposition dominate us.
“And today, with the players we played - some from the first team squad but a lot of youngsters playing as well - they did very well. And that’s a big compliment to them.
“We had to fight for the first 20 minutes until they got a little more tired. Eventually we wore them down, spaces opened up and we got the opportunities to score the goals.”
Both goals came from Liam Kelly, who is becoming invaluable to the squad, Stam added,
“We all know about Liam’s quality. Sometimes he tries those efforts in training and he doesn’t succeed. But today he did it twice and he did it very well. He started playing a little bit deeper in the first half, but in the second half we used him further forward.
“And if he gets into the position where he can have a shot, we know he’s got the quality - and of course he can be very happy with those two goals.”
Three players made their debuts, including Sam Smith, Andy Rinomhota and Axel Andresson who came off the bench. All three came through our Academy and impressed on their debuts. Stam added:
“We want to bring in young players at Reading and the cup games give our young players the opportunity to play in front of a bigger crowd at a higher level, alongside other more experienced first team players who they can learn from.
“We have a lot of important players, who played in the first eleven last season, out injured - so this was a good opportunity for some of the other players to step up and to do well.
“Everybody’s working very hard to get the players fit and to get new players in, but for now we need to deal with the situation. It’s not easy - we lost the first league game at QPR at the weekend and we should have done a lot better. And, of course on Saturday at home to Fulham, we want to show ourselves.”