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Stam focused on Reading job after play-off heartbreak

(Picture: Action Images via Reuters)

Reading manager Jaap Stam has said he wants to stay at the club next season, despite the Royals losing yesterday’s Championship play-off final.

After 120 minutes of tense, nervy football, Huddersfield were promoted to the Premier League at the expense of Stam’s side, winning 4-3 on penalties to reach the top-flight for the first time in 45 years.

While the Terriers celebrated joyously on the Wembley pitch in front of their fans, Reading were condemned to another term in the second tier wondering if their highly-rated boss will still be at the helm come August.

However, Stam was quick to ease concerns the Royals fanbase might have had about losing him, saying: “I’m still happy to be here, to work here, to live in the area.

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

Stam transformed Reading this season, taking them from 19th in the Championship last season to the brink of promotion, and his first term in management is rumoured to have attracted admiring glances from top-flight clubs.

But after losing at Wembley, the former Manchester United defender refused to answer questions about potentially leaving the Royals, saying: “Of course you want to work at the highest level.

“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.”

“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.

“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.”


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