(Picture: Action Images via Reuters)
Reading manager Jaap Stam has said he is only worried about the form of his own team as the race for a spot in the Championship play-off places hots up.
Sheffield Wednesday, a place below the Royals, are stuttering in their attempt to reach the play-offs for a second season in a row, while Fulham are breathing down the necks of the top-six thanks to their brilliant recent form.
Reading are more like Wednesday than the Cottagers, having hit the buffers in recent weeks with a run of three defeats in their last five games, and some onlookers have said their promotion aspirations are at risk of derailing, but their boss is not worried by what others have to say.
Speaking to Radio Berkshire, Stam said: “We don’t look too closely at what other people are saying or doing as it’s not important for us.”
As the business end of the season approaches with gathering pace, Reading will be hoping to find their form again quickly having taken just nine points from the last 24 available, but Stam is experienced enough to know there are a lot of twists and turns still to come.
The visit of Leeds United to the Madjeski stadium on April 1st, for example, could be just one of many games at the top of the table that could have big implications on how the division will look come the end of the season, so Stam is remaining calm and taking each day as it comes.
“Every game’s different,” said the 44-year-old. “All teams struggle for a while in the Championship and we’ve had it of late.
“This point of the season isn’t the best time to have that, you want to win your games obviously.
“But, we need to look at it in terms of the teams we need to play between now and the end of the season.
“Other teams [in the play-off picture] will face each other too, so you don’t know how it’s going to go in terms of who drops points and who picks them up.”