MX23RW : Saturday, February 16 00:02:23

Reading manager Jaap Stam: 'I want to manage at the very top'

Stam: 'I want to manage at the very top'
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Reading manager Jaap Stam admits that joining the Championship club last summer was a "risk", but is happy with his decision as he prepares for Monday's playoff final.

Jaap Stam has set his sights on Premier League football with Reading, admitting that he intends to test himself as a manager at the top level of the game.

The Dutchman was brought to the Berkshire club last summer following a seven-year spell working in various backroom roles, including in an assistant capacity at PEC Zwolle and Ajax's Under-21s side.

Stam admits that both he and Reading took a risk when agreeing a three-year contract in June 2016, but he has guided the Royals to the brink of a top-flight return as they look ahead to Monday afternoon's playoff final meeting with Huddersfield Town.

"It's always up to the clubs over whether they take that risk to employ someone from abroad, a young manager as well, you just need to get that chance," The Guardian quotes him as saying. "Everyone needs that and I needed to make a decision whether I wanted that. It is not only other people [who had to make a decision] but myself as well. Do I want that? Is it good for myself?

"I have a reputation and name myself, everyone knows that. But I believe in myself as well. Even the other managers are at risk if you go somewhere and think what will happen if it doesn't work out. What then? Will it ruin my name? You need to go in, work hard and believe in yourself, that's what's happened this season."

"I want to go to the top – I've played at the top – and as a manager I want to go to the top, hopefully with Reading. It is important for me to believe in a team that has ambition. I want to go up and work towards something. I don't want to work in the grey areas and say it is nice to end up 10th or 11th and keep on doing that every year. I want to reach something with a team and go to the highest level."

Stam, linked heavily with the West Ham United job earlier this year, recently claimed that he will remain at the Madejski Stadium next season regardless of Monday's result.


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Jaap Stam watches on during the Championship playoff semi-final game between Reading and Fulham on May 16, 2017
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Jaap Stam: 'My future is at Reading'
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

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