Another home game, another defeat which was so disappointing after such a promising performance on Saturday. Sheffield United left the Madejski with a 3-1 victory - Billy Sharp and Mark Duffy scored in the first half, before Omar Richards started a comeback. Leandro Bacuna stepped up to take a penalty for the Royals which was saved by Simon Moore, before Sharp scored his second of the game to take all three points back to Yorkshire.
“Everybody is disappointed - and they should be.
“In the first half we were not aggressive enough, not sharp enough, not brave enough in going forward and playing football in the way we said and how we trained.
“We were losing battles and giving the ball away to them which helps them to score their goals. You need to improve - we did that in the second half and our intensity was better when we went forward... we were better on the ball and more aggressive.
“We knew what to expect from Sheffield United - you need to match that or being more than that. Then you’ve got the opportunity and the chance to win the game. But against a team like this, if you let them win the battle for the ball then you’ll have a difficult time.
“We got our goal and they dropped back - we got more control over the game and when we got the penalty, you have to make it 2-2... then it’s a totally different game. We missed it - that can happen, but you should score.”
The third goal for United was disappointing as not only had we just missed a penalty but Reading felt as though the ball should have been given back to them after Liam Moore went down injured. Stam added:
“Conceding a goal like that is disappointing - if it’s still 2-1, even if you’ve just missed a penalty, hopefully you will still get the moment to equalise. At that time, the team you’re playing against are in a different stage than they are at 3-1 - they can be confident and afford to make a mistake when they’re two goals up.
“We let the ball for for an injured player - they decided to play on. You can say, ‘is that fair enough?’ But as a player you also need to realise that when they have the ball, you need to do everything to defend it or to get it back - and not to be surprised if they don’t.”
It can only get easier right? Next up is a trip to Molineux to face league leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.