Stam praises work of Roy­als’ new own­ers

READ­ING v BRIS­TOL CITY SKY BET CHAM­PI­ONSHIP MADEJSKI STA­DIUM SATUR­DAY, 3PM

The Wokingham Paper - - FOOTBALL - By TOM CROCKER tcrocker@wok­ing­ham­pa­per.co.uk

JAAP STAM has praised the work of Read­ing’s new own­ers af­ter a busy trans­fer win­dow came to a close.

Roy­als added seven new faces dur­ing the sum­mer, spend­ing an es­ti­mated £17 mil­lion along the way, in­clud­ing the club record sign­ing of Ful­ham for­ward Sone Aluko.

And while Stam ad­mits he would like to have added an­other striker be­fore the dead­line, he feels Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li have showed their am­bi­tion dur­ing their first trans­fer win­dow in charge of the club.

“I’m very happy with the own­ers in what they’ve done to­wards the squad,” said the man­ager.

“We spoke about what we needed and who to bring in and they’ve done very well.

“You’re al­ways greedy and you can say maybe we need one more. But I think you can say we’re very happy with what the own­ers, Ron (Gourlay) and Brian (Tevre­den) have done in get­ting th­ese play­ers in.

“You can see that ev­ery­body is very com­mit­ted to the club in what they want to do, what we even­tu­ally want to achieve and hope­fully in hav­ing an­other chance of end­ing up in that top six.”

He added: “The amount that was in the pa­pers that we paid for Aluko wasn’t the truth. It was not that much.

“Last sea­son when we started, we said that even­tu­ally we want to go to the Pre­mier League. It’s what I want to do and what the own­ers want to do as well.

“They re­ally go for it and that’s very im­por­tant.

“We’re still not do­ing the same thing as other clubs in investing in play­ers and pay­ing cer­tain amounts.

“I think grad­u­ally maybe we go there within the years, but the first trans­fer mar­ket for the new own­ers, they’ve done very well.”

Di­rec­tor of foot­ball Tevre­den and chief ex­ec­u­tive Gourlay were work­ing hard up un­til around 10pm on dead­line day to try and con­clude more deals, but in the end set­tled for seven.

Among the names in the mix to ar­rive were Nor­wich City striker Nel­son Oliveira and also Chelsea young­ster Kyle Scott.

But Stam ex­plained why nei­ther were com­pleted.

“Oliveira was the type of player who was very good for us, but he was just too ex­pen­sive,” said the boss.

“Kyle Scott is a name that’s been men­tioned.

“But we need to look at the play­ers we have al­ready within the squad. If you’re go­ing to bring in a player from Chelsea, what does Chelsea want. Does he need to play, does he need to be in the squad? Can he adapt to the sys­tem we play straight­away?

“You don’t want to bring play­ers in just for the sake of it.

“He is a player that was on the list, but not to bring him in straight­away.”

While the win­dow is shut to pre­vent any more trans­fers or loans un­til Jan­uary, clubs can still sign free agents.

But Stam is wary of go­ing down that route.

“It is a pos­si­bil­ity,” he ad­mit­ted. “But we’re only go­ing to be bring­ing play­ers in who are re­ally go­ing to be mak­ing us bet­ter.

“He re­ally needs to be fit and he needs to be a re­ally good player. We’re not just tak­ing play­ers be­cause they are free and have been good in the past.

“If you’re talk­ing about play­ers who are free agents now, maybe you should put your ques­tion mark with that as well. How is it pos­si­ble you’re still a free agent and don’t have a club yet? “We’re not wor­ried. We still have a qual­ity squad.”

Stam’s charges are boast­ing a near full bill of health for the visit of Bris­tol City.

Yann Ker­mor­gant (hip surgery) is still two weeks away, while John Swift (ham­string) will miss out, but both are on the verge of re­turn­ing to train­ing while Jor­dan Obita could fea­ture on Satur­day.

“It’s a dif­fi­cult team that we’re go­ing to be fac­ing,” said Stam.

“They’re do­ing well so it’s not go­ing to be easy. We still need to give ev­ery­thing if we want to have a re­sult.

“We re­ally need to work hard and dig in deep to get a re­sult and that starts on Satur­day.”

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