Reading bear the stamp of Jaap Stam but fluff final lines in the spotlight | Ben Fisher

Royals’ manager and players pay heavy penalty against Huddersfield after latest play-off final defeat sends them back to the Championship drawing board

Jaap Stam had a difficult job on his hands after taking over at Reading last summer, having to lift his players after two poor seasons. But that was nothing compared with his efforts to pull his deflated men up from the Wembley turf. The anguish was clear with Royals fans who had travelled from as far as Australia and Zimbabwe fleeing to the exits. Jordan Obita, who missed the decisive penalty, had his head in his hands and Danny Williams lay unmoving on the pitch with nothing to show for a lung?bursting performance in midfield.

Stam and his coaching staff were left to console the inconsolable after a relentless, gruelling season had ended in the cruellest of circumstances, with the record books showing that Reading have failed to prosper in all six play-off finals they have played.

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