Reading: Jaap Stam wants to try again for promotion after play-off final defeat

Reading players dejected after Championship play-off final defeat
Reading failed to gain promotion through the play-offs for a sixth time

Reading manager Jaap Stam dismissed talk of him moving on from the club following their Championship play-off final heartbreak against Huddersfield.

The Royals missed out on promotion to the Premier League when they were beaten 4-3 on penalties at Wembley.

"I'm still happy to be here, to work here, to live in the area," the Dutchman said afterwards.

"I still have a contract at Reading, there's nothing that's going to take me away from the club."

Stam guided Reading to third place in the Championship table in his first campaign in charge and his impressive start to management has seen him linked with a potential job in the Premier League.

But the former Manchester United defender refused to entertain questions about him leaving behind Reading's ambitions of reaching the top flight.

"Of course you want to work at the highest level," he said. "You want to work at the absolute top eventually as I've played there myself as well.

"But it doesn't mean, 'OK we've achieved this, so next season I need to go away'. We just need to have a look at what's going to happen in the summer."

They led 3-1 in the shootout at one stage before Liam Moore's miss and Huddersfield keeper Danny Ward's save from Jordan Obita gave the Yorkshire club the advantage.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Jaap Stam tells BBC Radio Berkshire he doesn't want to think about his future yet.

However, Stam believes Reading have what it takes to be in promotion contention again next term.

"Before I came here last season, we spoke about what the club wants to do, the ambition that we eventually want to end up in the Premier League," he said.

"How long does it take? Is it two or is it three seasons? Normally you don't succeed straightaway to get into the play-offs and the final in the first season.

"We did it because we've got a great bunch of lads and I'm very proud of them and what they've done this season."

Stam 'under the spotlight'

Speaking after the final, Reading co-chairman Sir John Madejski admitted rumours of Stam being tempted away from the club were inevitable after his first-season success.

"Every manager that's successful is always under the spotlight," he told BBC South Today.

"I hope he will stay, he's very happily ensconced in Berkshire, so it would be a pretty big tempting offer in my estimation to take him away from Reading.

"I would expect to see him back here next season.

"He's done a fantastic job as has his support crew. Nobody for one moment at the start of the season thought we'd be here in a play-off final, so there's an awful lot to be proud of and to build on."

'We'll grow from this'

Liam Moore misses his penalty in the Championship play-off final
Liam Moore missed his penalty in the shootout at Wembley

Stam's disappointment was shared by his players at full-time, including goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi, who had saved a penalty from Huddersfield's Michael Hefele in the shootout.

"We've had such a great season," the Oman international told BBC Radio Berkshire.

"It's difficult to take, but we did a fantastic job in a great game where we dug in for 120 minutes, but that's the way of penalties."

Defender Tyler Blackett urged his team-mates to pick themselves up and go again for next season.

"Hopefully we'll learn from what we could've done better this season," he said. "We're a strong team and we'll grow from it."

Top Stories