READING manager Mark Bowen says that his side are ready for a test against a ‘dangerous’ Brentford side as the Royals look to continue their unbeaten start under the Welshman.
Bowen was quick to highlight the achievements of his squad but believes they need to focus ahead of a tough fixture list.
“You take a sense of pride in what you’ve done of course, but you know I’ve been in this game long enough and I’m very much aware you can fall flat on your face when you start doing that,” said Bowen.
“if we don’t continue to pick up points in the next two, three, four games, then we are back to square one.
“We’ve got to make sure our mentality is right and that we prepare for each game properly to give ourselves the best chance
The Royals go into the game against Brentford at Griffin Park on the back of a four game unbeaten run before the international break.
“They (Brentford) can be very dangerous. We are a team with a lot of talent and we can hurt teams but we have to make sure that the game is a nasty, horrible one for the opposition and that will give us a better chance of winning the game.
“I’ve got enormous respect for Brentford as a team, and on any given day if they are right, and if you allow them to play their game,then I think they are a match for anybody.
“There is a hell of an atmosphere generated at Griffin Park. I expect a fantastic atmosphere generated from our fans and by all accounts we have sold out our end of the ground.
“It’s such a busy run of games with no international break until March, you have to mentally adjust in terms of long term planning to try and get the best out of the squad.”
The Welshman also spoke on the transfer speculation regarding Danny Loader, who is currently set to the leave the club on a free transfer at the expiry of his contract in the summer.
“I’ve heard nothing. All i will say is that Danny Loader is a very talented young player. He scored and created a goal for England this week so you fully expect him to attract attention,” continued Bowen.
“In terms of it is absolutely genuine, I don’t know. I can only comment if an offer comes through. Sometimes it is agent driven and sometimes it’s not. A talented player like him is always going to generate interest in that way.
“It is not ideal to get to this stage. Other clubs have done it in the past – look at Arsenal and Aaron Ramsey. It happens to everybody because players have got a free choice to do things.
“Personally as a manager you don’t want this distraction. You want your players signed up long term and put to bed their contract situations.
“Ultimately we can put a package together for Danny and offer it to him. The work he is getting in training excites him but it’ll come down to him whether he does it for financial reasons or feels he has a better opportunity somewhere else.
“In terms of picking my team and squad it is difficult because I have to try and put that to one side.
“I have to pick a team and a squad on a matchday which I feel can make a difference for us.
Bowen also praised the work of his coaching staff, including assistant manager Eddie Niedzwiecki.
“He’s (Eddie Niedzwiecki) is loving it. It was a very quick conversation. I told him I felt there was a real chance of doing something here. I thought at the time the squad was underperforming.
“I said to him you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the talent in the squad. Eddie is a super coach and a big football man.”
Bowen also discussed speculation regarding the futures of striker George Puscas and on loan Everton goalkeeper Joao Virginia.
“George is still young and raw and has lots to learn. We can be a great learning ground for him.
“I’m not undermining our situation because he could be here for the next 10 years but he’s come from a big club in Inter Milan. He’s still getting to grips with having the pressure put on him to perform every week.
“Sometimes when you’re a young player and drop in and out of the team there isn’t that pressure but the expectation is there for him to produce every week for us.
“To from Inter Milan to a special club like Reading, and then over to Turkey – I don’t see why him going to Fenerbahce would be of benefit to him anyway. Turning down bids would be the decision of Reading and the owner Mr Dai.
He (Joao Virginia) came in as hopefully being a no.1 but then it changed with Rafael coming in. His experience and ability has kept Virginia on the sidelines.
There’s no point hiding from it – it hasn’t gone well for him. He trains hard every day but in terms of his mental well-being and where he sees his future he has decisions to make, as do Everton and Reading.