Reading manager Jaap Stam is reluctant to think about the prospect of chasing promotion to the Premier League again after falling short in the Championship play-off final.
Huddersfield Town beat Stam’s side on penalties after a nervy goalless draw at Wembley on Monday, bringing a devastating end to a long season.
With Reading finishing third in the table, Stam conceded that the thought of another 46-game season is daunting after this disappointment.
“If you don’t want to play in [games like this], you should go and play in the amateur leagues,” he told Sky Sports.
“You could see at certain times the game was a bit reserved from both sides. You can never say to a player go and play the same as in the league because of the atmosphere.
“Hopefully we can do well next season, but to be honest I don’t really want to think about that. We have this to overcome. We have our holidays and after that we’ll think about next season.”
An incredible campaign ends so cruelly. So many reasons to be proud. Thanks for your brilliant support today and throughout the season.
— Reading FC (@ReadingFC) May 29, 2017
Stam added that the nature of the defeat – in a shoot-out – was especially hard and he could not blame any one of his players.
“You want to end the season well,” he said. “It’s a nice season, but the final is there to be won.
“We worked very hard today, it wasn’t easy. To lose on penalties is hard. I’ve experienced it myself in my career. It’s the cherry on the cake to win the game.
“But it’s nobody’s fault. I’m very proud of the team, what they’ve done, how hard they worked. They deserved to be here.”
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