Date: 13th May 2017 at 12:55pm
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No, Jaap Stam doesn’t feel Reading aren’t capable of coming through the play-offs but the Royals’ boss fears what could happen if promotion to the Premier League isn’t achieved.

Heading to Craven Cottage today for the play-off semi-final first leg, Reading’s bid for play-off success gets underway against Fulham this evening. Stam’s admitted this chance of a topflight return has probably arrived a little sooner than he anticipated but now the chance for promotion is here he’s keen to take it.

Stam, quoted by the BBC, knows how important it is to keep hold of Reading’s best players regardless.

He said: ‘If you want to make steps yourself as a club, you don’t want to sell your best players. Sometimes you can have things too quick, but if the opportunity’s there to do things well, you need to enjoy it and that’s what we’re doing.’

A number of players have risen to the challenge under Stam this season, which has seen them gain attention from other clubs – they’ll probably make a move if Reading can’t see the job through.

Stam said: ‘You’re always worried if you have a squad with good players that they’re going to go. This season, a lot of players have stepped up, they’ve shown themselves and there’s been a lot of interest from other clubs in the league.’

There’s sometimes a need to accept an offer for a player, Stam understands that, but is hopeful should that happen he would then be given that money to re-invest into the squad.

Adding: ‘So, it’s very important that if someone goes and I understand at times clubs need money, that you can spend that money as well. With the clubs coming down to the Championship and those who’ve stayed down and shown intention to invest, the top 10 if you look at it money-wise, it’s going to be very difficult to get into the top six for the teams who are not able to spend a lot of money.’

All being well Stam, 44, can lead Reading back to the Premier League for the first time since 2013 so the worry of keeping players at the Madejski Stadium should be eliminated – who could arrive would then be the question.

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