Royals must use the ball better – Stam

14 Sep

Reading boss Jaap Stam


Reading have lost just twice in nine games under Jaap Stam

Boss Jaap Stam wants Reading to exhaust the opposition by dominating possession even more, despite his side having 71% of the ball in Tuesday’s goalless draw against Birmingham City.

The former Netherlands international has already told disapproving fans they have to accept the risky style of play.

“Sometimes we need to be a bit more patient and put pace on the ball higher,” Stam told BBC Radio Berkshire.

“We have to make them run all over the pitch and eventually tire them out.”

The draw extended Reading’s unbeaten run to five matches in all competitions, however they have scored just one goal from open play in their past three games – an 89th-minute winner from Yann Kermorgant at Cardiff City.

Former Manchester United defender Stam admits his side lacked sharpness and were suffocated in midfield by Birmingham.

The 71% possession against Gary Rowett’s side was their joint highest under Stam, with his management career and Reading’s season starting with the same percentage of the ball in a 1-0 win over Preston.

“Some games are not easy to play, especially against a team that makes spaces very small to play and pass the ball through,” Stam, 44, said.

“If they do that you need to be clever and keep the pace of the ball, the pace of the game, high.

“If teams play like this, you don’t want to lose the ball, especially in the first build up, because they have quick players up front and can make it very hard for you. A couple of times in the first half we weren’t sharp enough, we weren’t patient enough.

“In how we played today, we had a lot of possession, we could have created and should have created more chances.”

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