Date: 16th August 2017 at 9:05pm
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Manager Jaap Stam has spoken of his delight at both the performance and the result for Reading in the midweek clash against Aston Villa.

Hosting Steve Bruce’s side at the Madejski Stadium for the game on Tuesday evening, Reading took a largely extremely comfortable two one victory with an own goal from Glenn Whelan and a Mo Barrow strike.

Having dominated possession and chances on the day, a thrilled Stam told the Official Site as he met with the media after the game that he couldn’t have been more pleased with the showing, although he conceded we had to dig in at the end.

‘We had those moments last season a few times as well! We talk about making progress and we try to avoid these moments but the players worked very, very hard. We had a lot of possession and created a lot of opportunities to score. We scored two great goals and could have scored a lot more – and maybe should have done as well. And in doing that we didn`t give a lot of opportunities away. There was one incident in the first few minutes when we lost the ball and they went through, and Vito Mannone was very important in making that save.’

Stam went on to say.

‘But overall in the game, we deserved to win it in how we played and with the amount of opportunities that was made. Towards the end you always know that the opposition need to do something. And with the quality that they have, it is logical that our players will get tired as well and give bigger spaces away than in the beginning of the game. When they played balls into the box with the physique that they have, they can make it difficult for us. But all in all we are very happy with the result and how we played. It is a big compliment for the team and what they have done. We needed the three points – it wasn`t going to be easy against a big club like Villa, but in how we played, we deserved it.’

With the game being the first win of the season, he added.

‘Everybody wants to win every game. We could and should have won last weekend as well, but we didn`t. This game was very important for us and the belief of the team and the players, to get the win. In the way that we played, we fully deserved it.’

Stam was obviously hoping for further improvement now as he knew the game would boost confidence and he was pleased with how the team had reacted to his comments in the draw last weekend against Fulham.

‘We always speak about what we want to do – that`s how we train and that`s what we were doing from last season. Now we want to add to it at the beginning of this season, with certain things. Players know what we ask from them, and now they need be more clever in certain occasions and more patient in certain positions. I think they were today. Last Saturday against Fulham we did well and got a draw, but today we went one better and got a win. It`s about wanting to become a better player and a better team and investing in that, and learning from what we talk about. That`s what they have done, and I`m very happy with that.’

With Barrow scoring his first club goal, Stam also had praise for his contribution and continued development.

‘Mo is a quality player, with his pace and one-on-ones. He is very comfortable on the ball and in being a threat going forward. And he can score goals as well. I`ve spoken to him a few times already in the short time that he has been here, he wants to create opportunities for other players. But he`s the type of player who I think can score more goals and sometimes might need to be a bit more selfish in how he plays. He is trying to do that – you could see it against Aston Villa and he had a couple of good shots from the edge of the box. That`s the kind of thing he needs to do, because he`s a very good player.’