It seems Reading manager Jaap Stam likes to play mind games before games.
So he has made it known that Newcastle have about 50 players in their squad, but in fact right now we have exactly half that figure available.
That’s just a slight exaggeration coming from the 44 year-old former Netherlands and Manchester United center-back.
Jaap Stam – Reading manager
This is what Stam told BBC Radio Berkshire yesterday about the game tonight at the Madejski Stadium:
“It is going to be a hard game.” “Newcastle have got a lot of quality within their squad.”
“Rafa Benitez has about 50 players but that’s what happens if you are working at a big club with the funds to make a good team.”
“We are going to work very hard to get a result, as we want to work hard for the fans and to stay up towards the top of the table.”
“I’m not happy with how we played on Saturday (won 2-1 home to Wolves) but you can’t have it all.”
“We need to learn and need to improve a lot – even for us to end up in the top six it is going to be very hard.”
“If at a certain stage of the season you are in the top six, everyone is thinking you’ve done well.”
“You’ve been third in the league for a long time and it would be a shame not to end up in the top six.”
“We’re all aware of that, people around the club were even talking about automatic promotion.”
“But that is not going to happen.”
In reality Newcastle have a squad of 27 players through the end of the season and we have two players not fit – Isaac Hayes and Rolando Aarons – but everybody else is available for tonight’s game.
We expect an extremely difficult game from Reading tonight – it will not be easy.
Stam seems concerned his team may not make the playoffs and that would be unfortunate since he’s had a very good first season as a manager in England.
What do you think?