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Jaap Stam On Missed Opportunities, Poor Defending and Burton Albion

The gaffer’s take on Reading’s 3-1 loss at Hillsborough.

Sheffield Wednesday v Reading - The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Our FA Cup journey is over for another year after an extremely disappointing 3-1 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough. It was the same story as always, our poor defending made it easy for Wednesday who have been struggling to score themselves recently. One of the only positives we can take from the evening is Sam Smith made his return to first team football.

So, what did Stam have to say? Well, pretty much the same as always really, he told the Official Club website:

“Every time, just before they scored their goal, we had a very, very good opportunity to score ourselves. We didn’t score our opportunities, and they scored every time they had a shot on target.

“All of the goals they scored came from us losing the ball too easily and us not anticipating it right. So it’s clear we needed to defend better for all three goals and anticipate situations better.

“But it’s not just one or two opportunities tonight - we created five or six clear opportunities to score goals. And sometimes you just need to be more clinical in every way.

“We were controlling the game, keeping the ball and waiting for the moment where we can score. And we created those opportunities. Unfortunately we couldn’t score.

“We had one v one situations with the goalkeeper and he has got his hand in there or blocked every shot, or sometimes the accuracy wasn’t there and the angle of our shots could have been better.

“And then if you’re helping the opposition by losing the ball and conceding goals with every shot they have on target, it becomes very difficult to win the match.”

With all associations in the Cup over for this season, we now move on to what is a very important game against Burton Albion on Tuesday at the Pirelli Stadium which in my opinion is a must win for Stam and the Club, he said:

“Tuesday is the biggest thing for us, getting points in the league. We know it’s not going to be easy though, in how they will set up at home on their pitch in front of their fans - but it is a very, very big game.

“You can see that there is joy in how we were playing today, how we were creating opportunities, but when you concede one or two goals like we did, you see heads go down in disappointment. That is normal.

“But the players need to keep going, keep going forward, stick to the system in what they need to do and communicate on the pitch.

“Everybody is working very hard to turn it round. And it’s about hard work and belief. If something goes wrong, they need to stick together and get stuck in.

“And only by doing that are you going to keep that belief and start winning games again. And there is no better medicine than a result.”