Mark Bowen on: Birmingham defeat, missing Swift and Ejaria, reaction against Barnsley and Stoke and more

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Mark Bowen
Mark Bowen

Mark Bowen said he was ‘angry’ and disappointed’ after Reading were defeated 3-2 by Birmingham City at the Madejski Stadium.

On the performance…

“We were poor. I expected a lot more from my side in terms of quality on the ball. It’s easy to say our ball players Ovie Ejaria and John Swift were missing, so that’s a big loss but players stepping in have got to be a lot better on the ball in terms of passing, retaining the ball and being brave.

“That was lacking today. We need to get our way of playing right. We were sloppy going into the game and I’ve got no problem in players giving the ball away but they need to go and get it again and be brave.

“I saw signs of that last week, we got away with it after a good 20 minutes. We changed the formation at half-time and we looked for our players to get on the ball and make us play. Too many of them today weren’t at it.

“It happens. We have to get on the training ground and ask them to be braver on the ball and confident in the way that they play. It was a bad day at the office, we never got going in terms of building attacks. We tried to mix it up but it broke down too many times because of a lack of quality.”

Half-time changes…

“I don’t regret it at all. If we did it again I’d expect a different result. We’re at home and tried to effect the game, I thought we were lucky to be at 1-1 at half-time. We wanted to be progressive going forward, but you have to retain the ball in those areas.

“The first goal their player wasn’t tracked from midfield and they get a deflected goal. The second is a free kick, it’s well executed but you don’t expect him to score from their. And the third is created by us, we gave it away in the wrong areas. They were all goals that could have been avoided.”

Anger and disappointment at performance…

“I was angry and disappointed because I know they’re better than tat. We need to get consistency in our form. There aren’t many of the eight games I’ve been in charge, if any that I’ve been disappointed, but we’ll work on it and I expect a reaction against Barnsley on Wednesday.

“I know this group and I know I’ll get a reaction on Wednesday. I know they will take on board the information in terms of being braver in possession.”

Return date for Ovie Ejaria and Sam Baldock…

I certainly hope he will be fit. He had an issue on Friday with his groin, it was a bit better this morning but still really feeling it so hopefully it should settle down quickly. Sam Baldock hopefully will be available for Wednesday. He’s pain free now, he had a training session Thursday, the first time he trained 95-100%.”

Thoughts on Birmingham…

“I thought they were a decent side. They tried to pass and control possession, and on the day they were better than us doing that.”

On the referee’s performance…

I thought he was a little bit erratic, some of the decisions I didn’t understand where he got it from. He punished us for certain situations but it’s no excuse at all, you can’t blame the result on there, the result was our making today.”

Upcoming games…

I’m not scared to say that the six games we had coming up, I looked at us and made us favourites in all of those games. I expect us to win games at home. I expect a reaction on Wednesday. We’ll get down to looking at Barnsley and seeing how we can hurt them first thing tomorrow morning.”

Lack of service for Puscas…

I think there was. He’s not exempt and I expect more from all of my players today but he didn’t get any sufficient quality into him.”

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