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Saturday 10 December 2016

Stam praise for McShane

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Jaap Stam hailed Ireland defender Paul McShane for giving Reading the win which pushes the Royals closer to the play-off places in the Championship.

But the Reading boss also had to defend his decision to substitute Ireland U21 cap Liam Kelly just 28 minutes into his league debut.

Midfielder Kelly, was pleased to make the starting XI after three cup appearances this term, but Stam made the harsh call to bring off the 20-year-old early in the first half and replace him with McShane, who delivered the only goal of the game away to Rotherham.

"He was cool in the box, brought the ball down on his thigh and shot into the top of the goal. Normally you see a lot of defenders just try and smash it first time. But he took his time and scored a very important goal," Stam said of McShane, but he added that he had no choice but to call Kelly aside.

"I told him when he came off that it was tactical. We know the quality he has, you saw that when he was in possession," Stam said. "He's a great player and he's improved a lot since the beginning of the season - but sometimes you need to make a choice. The opposition were throwing balls into the box and heading long balls is not his game.

"That's why we made the sub and after that with Joey van der Berg in midfield and with Macca at the back they were less of a threat. But in other matches Liam can and will play easily because he has the quality for it.

"Liam is a true professional. He knows what we think of him as a player - that's why he started the game."

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