JAAP Stam believes the focus of his Reading FC players was key to spoiling the Sunderland party in Chris Coleman’s first home fixture.

Royals superbly handled the atmosphere at a pumped-up Stadium of Light to win 3-1 and claim a second successive Championship victory.

There had been massive expectation on the beleaguered Black Cats who had beaten Burton Albion in their previous game for Coleman’s first win, but had not won at home in almost a year.

And the former Wales manager will have to wait a little longer for his first three points at home after Saturday’s defeat by the Royals.

Stam’s visitors were undoubtedly helped by Callum McManaman’s sending off late in the first half for two yellow cards.

Reading drove home their numerical advantage in the second period when a Mo Barrow brace and Dave Edwards strike put them 3-0 ahead before ex-Royals loanee Lewis Grabban netted a late consolation from the penalty spot.

Stam beaned: “It was their first home game under the new manager, so we expected them to be really up for it, go forward, to press, not let us play, be very aggressive and look to score that first goal.

“We were warned about that and I think the players responded very well to that warning.

“They worked hard, we stayed in the game, didn’t concede and we scored that first goal ourselves.

“We created a very good chance of our own with Dave Edwards in the box in the first half - but he didn’t score. Then at the end of the first half, they get that second yellow card and the sending off.

“After that it’s about working out how to position yourself. You know they might drop in deeper, but we responded well and scored three good goals.”

Coleman’s afternoon began to go wrong when McManaman picked up his second yellow of the game for handball in first-half injury time, having already been booked for a foul on Barrow.

Edwards broke the deadlock eight minutes after a break by converting Sone Aluko’s centre before Barrow struck in the 68th and 71st minutes.

Grabban pulled one back from the penalty spot 15 minutes from time after Leandro Bacuna clattered into Joel Asoro, but it was too little, too late.

The victory moved Reading moved up to 14th in the Championship table, while Sunderland slipped back to 23rd and have not won at home in 21 games.

Stam added: “It was a tough game, but we are very happy with the way the team worked, how they reacted to certain situations and how they played.

“We’ve been creating opportunities all season, but you still need to finish them. Now we’re getting the opportunities and scoring some very good goals.”

Reading are without a fixture this weekend and return to Championship action next Monday when they host Neil Warnock’s Cardiff City, who lie second in the table behind Wolves (8pm ko).

“You want to be consistent in this league, all teams want that consistency in the Championship,” added Stam.

“We want to stay in this flow, keep this feeling and keep winning games.

“But with Cardiff City next up at home, we’ll need to be up for it and show our quality if we want to earn three more points.”