It’s been a fantastic start to life at Reading for former Manchester United defender Jaap Stam, who has led the Royals to 4th in the Championship table.
He inherited a side languishing in the lower mid-table region, devoid of any real x-factor or inspiration under Brian McDermott.
However after a wave of summer signings were brought in to bolster squad depth – including the likes of Roy Beerens, John Swift and Liam Moore – Reading have flown up the table, producing some incredible performances along the way.
It’s safe to say that very few predicted Reading would be sitting safely in the top 6 at this point in the season, but with the new signings all clicking into Stam’s system and Reading heading into their clash against a Burton Albion side, who are yet to win away from home, on the back of 3 successive victories, things could be about to get better.
What makes this side tick is the midfield trio of Joey van den Berg, Danny Williams and John Swift.
John Swift is certainly the creative force in this Reading side, with the former Chelsea and Brentford midfielder offering an attacking threat going forward, and silky dribbling in the middle of the park.
Williams is integral to Reading’s success in winning possession in the middle of the park.
A box-to-box midfielder by trade, the American international keeps play ticking over, whilst also driving attacks forward when the Royals start to stall.
Finally, Joey van den Berg is the wildcard in the side.
When he’s on top form, he’s capable of pulling off incredible last-ditch game-saving tackles, but if you catch him on a bad day, he’s a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.
Couple this midfield with a talented attacking line consisting of deep-lying forward Yann Kermorgant and experienced wingers Garath McCleary and Roy Beerens, you can see why Reading have been so successful this season.
Ali Al-Habsi is in the form of his life in between the sticks for the Royals, and Liam Moore and Paul McShane are the perfect centre back pairing.
All these factors culminate to show that Reading can keep up their push for promotion if Jaap Stam can keep up the great work he’s been doing at the Madejski Stadium this season.
Reading fans – do you agree with this? Will you be going up this season? Do you need to do any business in January? Let us know in the comments below…