Jaap Stam has played down Reading’s chances of winning promotion to the Premier League this season, despite going agonisingly close last time round.
The Royals made it to the playoff final at Wembley back in May, only to lose the showpiece match on penalties to Huddersfield Town. So the Madejski Stadium club face another battle in the Championship, whilst the Terriers have made a terrific yet unexpected start to life in the top-flight.
Due to their near-miss, many pundits predicted Reading would be challenging at the right end of the table again. But despite a solid enough start which has seen them collect seven points from five matches, Stam has played down the chances of his side earning promotion.
“Last season we did very well but everyone knows it’s hard to stay up there,” the former Manchester United defender told Sky Sports. “We’re very happy with the owners’ willingness to invest, but we’re not saying this season we need to go up because everyone is realistic in what you can do.
“Eventually [we want to] build something to get that chance to go up to the Premier League. If you look at Brighton [& Hove Albion] last season they did very well in building up through a couple of seasons and creating a team that eventually can go up. Not many teams can do that.”