Jaap Stam hails Reading's character after Aston Villa win
By Rory O'Callaghan
Last Updated: 15/04/17 7:18pm
Reading boss Jaap Stam was pleased with the character shown by his side in their 3-1 win over Aston Villa.
The Royals solidified their place in the Sky Bet Championship play-off spots with a convincing win at Villa Park.
Joseph Mendes scored either side of a James Chester header before Lewis Grabban rounded off the scoring with a penalty after the break.
The win - Reading's first victory at Villa Park - marked a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for the Royals, who suffered a humiliating 7-1 defeat to Norwich last time out.
"I'm very happy with the character of my team throughout the whole season," said Stam. "Okay, sometimes we get defeats but we're not too worried about defeats.
"We beat Norwich at home and over there you can lose, you can talk about the scoreline and everything - we do that as well - but it's how you bounce back.
"We're very confident in how the team can play. You can have an off day - look at PSG against Barcelona - but it's about what you do after. The players have been positive."
Mendes marked his full league debut with two well-taken goals and Stam was impressed with the impact of the French striker, who joined the Royals on a two-year deal from Le Havre last summer.
"For Joseph it wasn't the easiest season because he came from France and had some injuries. He has worked hard in the last couple of months," he said.
"As a player you can respond by talking in the press, by calling the manager certain names but you can also respond by working hard in the game and scoring goals."
Defeat against the Royals ended Villa's five-match unbeaten run and Steve Bruce was quick to criticise his players after the final whistle.
"I don't like getting beaten and I don't like getting beaten by sloppiness," he said. "I thought that was a thing of the past, a performance like that.
"I couldn't fault their effort but it was how they handled making a mistake, if you're going to play for a big club like this you've got to be able to handle that.
"We made more individual errors than we have done in the past three months. We have been punished and given really, really bad goals away."