Mark Bowen: ‘I want teams to come here and fear playing us’ says Reading FC manager

Reading manager Mark Bowen (pictures by Steve Smyth)
Reading new manager, Mark Bowen, takes charge of training session followed by a press conference on Tuesday.

Reading manager Mark Bowen says that he want opposing teams to ‘fear’ his side when playing them while playing entertaining, attacking football.

The Welshman has made a positive start since taking charge of the side with a 1-0 home win against Preston North End before drawing 2-2 away at Queens Park Rangers.

On start to life as Reading manager…

” I’m really enjoying it, that’s why it took me two seconds to accept the role because I know the quality we have. Were trying to improve both sides of our game, with and without the ball, to make us more pragmatic and give us a platform to play from.

” Everyone wants to play like Brazil from the 70’s but you’ve got to be adaptable and get the best out of the players.

“The first game against Preston, I wanted to see us get the ball forward in the opposing half and winning second balls. We Had 11 goal kicks in that game and retained possession in their half every time. We can still play in the right areas, id hate to be know just as a long ball team.

“The desire and physicality in the group has been pleasing. I want to play football and be entertaining, but I want teams to come here and fear playing us.”

Injury update…

“Lucas Joao is out for another four weeks, hopefully next week he can get out on the grass and start doing light work.

“Lucas Boye is out doing light work we expect him back next week with the main group.

“Yakou has been training with the group and came through an intensive session fine. He is in contention for Saturday.

“We had a little issue with Ovie, he had a groin problem after the QPR game and was a doubt for last Saturday but he’s rested up and I’m pleased to say he trained this morning, he’s in a good frame of mind and ready for Saturday.

Facing Millwall on Saturday…

“Gary has had an instant impact there; we know the quality he has as manager. They play to their strengths they’re very good at what they do, they beat stoke comfortably. Its our job to have a mental picture of what is coming, how we can hurt them and also see how they can hurt us.

“Our guys are getting better at picking up loose balls, they’re built on the ugly side of the game better than most, we’ve got to make sure we get down and play our football when we can because that’s how we can hurt them.”

Extra preparation after Forest postponement…

“I was gutted, we were in the ascendancy and they had lost their last two games, there was a really good feeling in the camp that we could get something from the game.

“But I woke up Sunday and looked back and the last two games we’ve played have been the highest output of intensity of any game we’ve played this season, we ran longer, harder and with more intensity. So with that in mind, we may have fallen off a cliff with three hard games in a week. It could have gone against us, so maybe it was a good thing.

“It’s been an advantage. I’m sure one of the things I will find difficult is having spent nearly 20 years in the Premier League where you get more time than the Championship on the training ground to work with the players, whereas the Championship it’s a case of dusting yourself down and going again.

“It’s different in that scenario and for all my staff, its all about getting the work done properly on the training ground when we can.”


“I’ll play according to how the opposition are. I’m not stuck on playing three at the back, and if we can hurt the opposition I’m willing to change. As long as the players get the work and knowledge on the training ground to take into the game there’s no reason to doubt that it won’t make any difference.”

Puscas and Baldock…

“Hopefully that will push him on, its been hard for him (Puscas). People forget he’s still such a young player and he has such an expectancy on him to lead the line, so all the mental side that he’s had to deal with being in a new country, you cant shy away from the fact it hasn’t gone great for him so far.

“I’m delighted for him that he got it, and as a coach we’ve been asking the team to get the ball forward quicker and we wanted to see earlier movement up front. As soon as Ovie looked up and saw the run, he was gone and that was what created the goal, yes it was a good finish, but it was the desire to do the hard yards and if he keeps doing those things he’ll be fine.

“I’ve told the lads that I’ll pick the team from who is playing well and who trains well, its as simple as that. If you don’t train to the maximum, they won’t be considered. Those two guys at the moment look as if they have the jersey but that can always change if standards drop.

Ejaria’s good form…

“He’s one a journey of becoming a top player, there’s a lot more still to come. He’s had a few plaudits, we were delighted to get him and I’ve looked to push him further forward. He rarely gives the ball away and if he has one or two things to work on, its how many goals he notches and creating goals. If he can keep going the way he is and continue improving then we’ve got a special player.

Making Madejski a fortress…

“The next two games, the team we players higher in the table than us but I think we go into the game as favourites playing at home and that creates a different problem for us to solve so our mentality has to be right.

“I’d love to see a full stadium, I know what that will produce, the people that turn up home and away, the way they get behind the team is great so we need to give them things to keep cheering about.

“If we can prepare the best we can and keep putting the effort in on the training ground that we have been, we will win more games than we lose.

The Royals face Millwall at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday (3pm kick off).

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