Reading boss Stam insists his Royals deserved a point at Newcastle

Garath McCleary converts his penalty to haul Reading level at 1-1 away to Newcastle. Picture by Frank Reid

Garath McCleary converts his penalty to haul Reading level at 1-1 away to Newcastle. Picture by Frank Reid

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Reading boss Jaap Stam left St James’s Park convinced that his team should have had more reward for their efforts against Newcastle United last night, arguing they were the superior side.

Dwight Gayle’s double proved decisive as Newcastle broke their Championship duck, recording a 4-1 win, after the Royals had reached half-time level at 1-1 thanks to Garath McCleary’s penalty.

Stam said: “I think we should have got something out of the game because I think if you look at the game and at how both teams played, I think we deserved a lot more than a 4-1 loss, to be fair.

“The people over here, especially in Newcastle, they are thinking about a 4-1 win.

“Probably we were the better team, but everybody knows that they won and they have got three points and we have got nothing.

“That’s how it goes in football, so for us it’s very difficult but we need it keep on going.”

Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez said he won’t be afraid to make more big decisions after dropping captain Jamaal Lascelles last night.

Asked about his decision, Benitez said: “When I was talking with Jamaal, I was saying we needed someone who would be positive on and off the pitch.

“He has to understand the role of a captain, and he was fine.

“I have to pick the team not thinking about that, but thinking about the best players for every game.

“The main thing for me is the reaction of the players who are on the bench or in the stands.

“They have to realise that we have to create a positive environment of competition between players. That is the best way to be sure we have a big enough squad for the next 43 games.”

Benitez was pleased with Yoan Gouffran, who was handed a surprise start.

“Until the end of the transfer window, it is quite complicated to keep everybody focused,” he said.

“But we are doing what we have to do every week. We were talking about Gouffran, and maybe he was thinking about offers that could come, but he had to play and he did really well.

“It is not easy for any player to think ‘I have to be really concentrated and focused when maybe tomorrow I will leave’, but you have seen examples in the Premier League of players playing one game and then leaving the following day for another team.”