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Reading boss Jaap Stam's surprising assessment of how Sunderland will do this season

Sunderland were beaten 3-1 by Reading at the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland were beaten 3-1 by Reading at the Stadium of Light.
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Reading boss Jaap Stam was the latest opposition manager to leave the Stadium of Light with a positive result, Sunderland’s winless run extending to 21 games.

Stam was full of praise for his Reading side but added he believes Sunderland were still capable of doing “very well” this season.

That will come as a surprise to those of a red and white persuasion given Sunderland are second bottom, two points from safety.

The Sunderland faithful understandably let their feelings known when Reading raced into a 3-0 lead midway through the second half but Stam had words of encouragement.

Stam added: "If a club is in a difficult situation then you know how the crowd can react at times, it is not only here, it the same everywhere.

"Sometimes as an opposition you want to use that, play in a certain way, keep the ball, make them chase it and the crowd is going to react.

"This is still a very big club, a very good club. If you look at the team they still have very good players, even with 10 men they can play some good football.

"I still have the belief they can do very well this season."

Stam was proud of his players for sticking to the game plan and said the decision to show Callum McManaman a second yellow card was correct.

He added: "In the end it was comfortable. When you come here, against a new manager in his first home game, you can expect a team that is aggressive.

"We had to make sure we didn’t concede in the first half and tried to create things after that."