The Football League Paper - - INSIDE - By Andrew Law­ton

READ­ING’S im­pres­sive sea­son is all down to man­ager Jaap Stam, ac­cord­ing to the Roy­als’ French striker, Joseph Men­des.

Stam suc­ceeded Brian McDer­mott as man­ager at the Made­jski Sta­dium in June last year, hav­ing pre­vi­ously worked as a coach at Ajax.

Read­ing fin­ished 17th in the Cham­pi­onship last year and Stam, who won six tro­phies in his three years at Manch­ester United, has proved key to turn­ing around their for­tunes as they’ve se­cured a play-off spot this term.

Men­des, 26, be­lieves he has learned plenty off the Dutch man­ager dur­ing his first sea­son in Eng­land de­spite see­ing it dis­rupted by in­juries.

He said: “Ev­ery player has im­proved, and I have a lot in the last few months when I have been fit. I al­ways lis­ten to him, be­cause he is a cham­pion.

“I think we are lucky to be foot­ballers. To wake up ev­ery morning to play foot­ball, we are lucky.

“The man­ager has to make choices and I think he has done well be­cause we are third. We all have to ac­cept his choices.”

AD­VICE: Joseph Men­des

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