Reading's Stam gives his opinion on Millwall

JAAP Stam admitted Millwall are a “difficult” side to play against after Reading’s 3-1 EFL Cup win over the Lions on Tuesday night.

Stam’s Royals scored two counter-attacking goals in extra-time through George Evans and Sam Smith to reach the third round of the competition.

And the former Manchester United and AC Milan Champions League winner explained his side’s approach against their Championship rivals.

“It’s difficult to play against teams like this because from the first second they drop in very deep, they want to make it very difficult for you by not giving away a lot of space,” Stam said.

“Sometimes that makes it harder for us to create opportunities.

“The players worked very hard to create opportunities. Sometimes it takes a bit longer to go forward before you can have a shot or chance in the box to create something.

“In these games against these teams and how they set up you need to be aware of set-pieces, if you lose that ball there’s a ball in behind straightaway.

“You need to be sharp and focused.

“A lot of teams playing against teams like that struggle because they can’t get through, and then they force it by playing long balls. But then you bring them into their game because that’s what they like: heading away balls, winning second balls, playing balls in behind and running for them and hopefully getting an opportunity to score.

“You want to maintain possession and eventually create opportunities. That’s what we’ve done.

“It was a good result and a decent performances.

“When we scored the second you know they are going to try something. They changed the system and put an extra man up front, they played even more direct to hopefully win balls in the box with the physique they have.

“When they did that you know there is a lot of space in behind and we played it well.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly