By Danny Wright
Jaap Stam has labelled Leeds as a “very physical side” ahead of Saturday’s game at Reading.
The Royals manager, who criticised Leeds after Reading’s defeat Elland Road in December, believes that confidence is high among his own players after they managed to secure a 2-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday just before the international break.
Leeds have been in good form lately and that is largely down to the impressive performances from Chris Wood in front of goal.
The 25-year-old, known for his aerial presence and strength, has found the net on 27 occasions in all competitions this season and Stam appears to have highlighted that side of Leeds’ game as a threat.
“It is an important game for both sides. It will be tough. They are a very physical side,” said the 44-year-old, as quoted by the Yorkshire Evening Post.
“Leeds is always a tough game. I remember playing them at Man United. It is a very important game for both teams.
“Confidence is high from the Sheffield Wednesday game. By beating them it makes it easier to go into the next game with confidence.
“Everyone is eager to win. If we win, it will make it easier to stay in the top six.”
Stam also called upon his experience of playing against the West Yorkshire side in his playing days at Manchester United.
Leeds and Man United both have a long history of rivalry which Stam became a part of when he played at Old Trafford for three years around the turn of the new millennium.
Reading can overtake Garry Monk’s side in the league standings if they manage to pick up their first win in over three years in the fixture.
There is just a two point gap between the teams but the Whites also have a huge goal difference advantage over the Royals.
Both teams are likely to finish up in the play-off places this season and could meet each other again this season in a last ditch bid to try and earn promotion to the Premier League.
In other Leeds news, three things we can expect in Saturday’s trip to Reading.