Reading visited struggling Brentford this weekend and came home with a very pleasing point.
The Royals started brightly and missed some good opportunities early on, but in typical fashion went 1-0 down early in the first half. After the break, we fought back and scored a penalty through Liam Kelly to take an important point.
Jaap Stam was very happy with the point, especially after a tough game at Griffin Park last season, telling the official club website
“I think it’s a very good point and we’ve got to be pleased with it.
"Last season we had a very difficult game here and this afternoon was no different. Brentford are a good side, with good players and, if you give them time to play, we knew they could make it difficult for us.
"We started the game very well and had two good opportunities to score in the first couple of minutes. If we score one of those, the whole game is totally different.
"But we didn't, they got into their rhythm and they scored the first goal - a good goal with a good one-two and finish - although we should have done better with it.
"And we were chasing the game all of a sudden. We had a hard time first half. Our choices on the ball weren't good enough. We weren't accurate enough in our passing.
"At half-time we spoke about what to do, pressing them higher up the pitch, being more aggressive in going forward. And I think we did much better - and we got the equaliser.”
Stam had special praise for goalscorer Kelly, who has had a great start to the season, as well as the defence who fought hard after the equaliser, adding
“Liam Kelly is a quality player. He's 21, but it doesn’t matter. He's playing on this stage and if want to play on this stage, it doesn't matter if you’re 21 or 35, you've got to take your responsibility and put it in the net.
"We know what he can do as a player and, yes he is young, but he's very down to earth and calm in what he does. And it was a very good penalty.
"And after that both teams wanted to go for the win, it was up and down the pitch, end to end. At times we defended very well in fighting for our lives to clear the box and Vito made some good saves, but they are a very good side and they were a threat going forward with the pace they had up front.”
Sone Aluko had a good chance in the dying minutes to get the winner, but Stam felt there was also a case for another penalty:
“We could have had a second penalty soon after our goal when Liam Moore was tripped in the box. Maybe it's difficult to give two penalties in a short space of time, I don't know.
"And of course right at the end, Sone hit the crossbar and we could have won it.
"Perhaps on the balance of play, it was right that it went on the top of the crossbar and over and not underneath it. But, as a manager and as player, you are hoping it goes in the top corner.
"We're happy with the point though. And it makes us aware that we still need to improve in what we are doing."
Next up for the Royals are back-to-back home games with Swansea in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday before Hull visit on Saturday. URZ!