Stam liked what he saw from Holmes in Reading’s draw with Bolton

Posted Wednesday, March 07, 2018 by PA

Stam liked what he saw from Holmes in Reading’s draw with Bolton

Reading manager Jaap Stam defended his decision to give 17-year-old centre-back Tom Holmes his senior debut in the Sky Bet Championship draw against Bolton.

Reading went ahead in the 32nd minute of the drab Madejski Stadium duel when Mo Barrow fired in from an acute angle for his ninth goal of the season.

However, their relegation rivals levelled on the stroke of half-time when former Reading striker Adam Le Fondre guided home a Filipe Morais cross from close range.

Holmes played solidly in an often jittery home defence and Stam said afterwards: “I told Tom to enjoy it. I told him that he deserved his place on what he had shown in training.

“You could say it was a big call. If it had gone wrong, everyone would have said ‘Why did you do it?’

“If it’s gone well, then you can say it’s a brave thing to put him in there. That’s how it works in football.

“Sometimes you need to make changes. We had been conceding too many goals – and easy goals as well.

“You have to give other players who are doing well an opportunity to play.

“It was a very important point tonight. In this period that you’re playing, to get something out of every game is quite important.

“Of course you want to have a win but that didn’t happen so we got at least a point.

“Sometimes you need to get stuck in and we had to do that, especially in the situation that we’re in.

“So we got something out of it, which is promising and which is good.

“If you look at the game, I think 1-1 was a fair result.”

Bolton manager Phil Parkinson, a former Reading captain, said: “We had some good chances to go ahead before Reading scored.

“And then we conceded against the run of play, which knocked us slightly. Goals conceded can do that sometimes.

“I thought that we started well in the second half and got in enough good positions which we should have capitalised on.

“But a point away from home is not the worst.

“After we missed those early chances, we just had to keep going. I felt that we would create further opportunities.

“I was a bit concerned that the lads would let their heads drop, especially after getting beaten at home on Saturday (3-1 to Preston).

“But we had a lot of experience on the pitch, we kept going and we eventually got our reward.

“Seven changes to the team was a lot but I just felt that I had to shake up the pack and the way the players implemented the way we asked them to play was very good.”


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