Read­ing striker Do­minic Sa­muel hails the qual­ity of man­ager Jaap Stam

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE: - By Ross Law­son

UN­DER the tute­lage of a man he both feared and ad­mired watch­ing the game as a child, it is lit­tle won­der Do­minic Sa­muel is mak­ing his lon­gawaited Read­ing break­through.

Sa­muel has had to bide his time since grad­u­at­ing from the youth set-up more than four years ago. Now, with Jaap Stam in charge at the Made­jski Sta­dium, the 22-year-old was re­warded for his per­sis­tence with a goal 22 min­utes into his full Cham­pi­onship de­but.

That close-range ef­fort against Bur­ton Al­bion a fort­night ago has seem­ingly paved the way for the striker. He also started against Bris­tol City last week­end – the Roy­als’ fifth con­sec­u­tive league vic­tory.

Hav­ing spent time on loan at Colch­ester, Da­gen­ham & Red­bridge, Coven­try and Gilling­ham, Sa­muel is fi­nally mak­ing his mark in the sec­ond tier and claims there is one man to credit for his pro­gres­sion.

“The gaffer played at such a high level and that ex­pe­ri­ence rubs off on you, day in, day out,” he said of Stam, the for­mer Hol­land, Manch­ester United and AC Mi­lan cen­tre-back.

“He’s al­ways giv­ing good ad­vice. As a for­mer de­fender, he knows what they do and don’t like and that in­for­ma­tion is per­fect for a striker at this stage of my ca­reer.

“What he tells you is on a dif­fer­ent level and that’s shown in our games.

“He gives you time in­di­vid­u­ally and puts the ball in your court, ask­ing how you rate your own per­for­mances, which gives you a chance to think.

“Jaap was some­one I kept an eye out for grow­ing up, so see­ing him come to Read­ing was a bless­ing. He’s the sort of de­fender you fear, but he knows my strengths to be able to cope.”

The Read­ing camp have been in good spirits in re­cent times, a fac­tor which should help them bounce back from their shock 5-0 re­verse at Ful­ham yes­ter­day .

The Roy­als – linked with a Chi­nese takeover – have pro­pelled them­selves into pro­mo­tion con­tention, with their dis­ap­point­ing start, just four points from their open­ing four games, firmly be­hind them.

And, for Sa­muel, team har­mony has been at the fore­front of the suc­cess.

He added: “Team morale is sky-high. Ev­ery­one’s in a pos­i­tive mood and there’s a lot of con­fi­dence, with peo­ple step­ping up to the plate.


“The group is tight on and off the pitch and you need that with so many fix­tures over the year.

“We go out for meals and Garath McCleary or­gan­ised a paint­balling ses­sion just be­fore our win­ning run, so he’s tak­ing the credit for that!

“Things like that are so im­por­tant. We’ve gelled so much as a team and the re­la­tion­ship with ev­ery­one has been fan­tas­tic.

“There’s not one per­son who’s iso­lated and the gaffer and coaches de­serve a lot of credit.”

Hav­ing scored seven goals in 25 games for Gilling­ham in League One last sea­son, fol­low­ing six in 13 for Coven­try the year be­fore, Sa­muel might have hoped for an im­me­di­ate start­ing berth on his re­turn to Berk­shire.

But the young for­ward claims he al­ways ex­pected to wait for his chance and is fo­cused on pro­duc­ing a string of im­pres­sive per­for­mances now his pa­tience has been re­warded.

“As a young player, you know it’s go­ing to be a wait­ing game, es­pe­cially with ex­pe­ri­enced heads in the team, but you just have to bide your time and keep work­ing hard,” Sa­muel ex­plained.

“I had the con­fi­dence in my abil­ity that the mo­ment would come and I’m a big be­liever in that faith. What I had to do was make the most of my chance and scor­ing a goal early on is cer­tainly not a bad way of do­ing that, so long as I can keep it go­ing.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Images

PA­TIENCE: Read­ing’s Do­minic Sa­muel, seen here against Arse­nal, scored on his full Cham­pi­onship de­but and, inset, boss Jaap Stam

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.