The Wokingham Paper

Mark Bowen on: Last minute equaliser, unbeaten run, Lucas Joao injury, Rafael's importance and more

Mark Bowen
Mark Bowen

READING manager Mark Bowen was delighted after his side snatched a point with the final kick of the match in a ‘crazy’ ending at the Madejski Stadium between Reading and Nottingham Forest.

On the result and a crazy ending…

“It was crazy. We were a bit sloppy in the first half. The last few games our midfield have controlled games but we weren’t really at it. At half time I said we’d had 45 minutes of average football in the last six games and for the players to go and enjoy it.

And we did, I think we went out and dominated and showed a lot more of what we are about. A certain penalty we should have had. Yakou was kicked in the back of the heel and I couldn’t understand why that wasn’t given.

Their goal was controversial. I’m told by players on my side and their side the ball was out of play when it was crossed back in. And apparently the corner wasn’t a corner. Even their players were saying it was well over the line. That’s what I was told, I haven’t seen it back.

We showed we’re well capable of competing and getting results against these sides. We can’t look too far ahead but we realise we’re a difficult side to play against.”

Dressing room atmosphere…

“I see a resilience and a focus in the side. We’re in a race with a number of clubs of where we end up, whether that will be the play-offs, that will stand us in good stead.

On Ovie Ejaria…

Ovie came into the game with a heavy cold and wasn’t feeling himself. When it got to that stage, he was really feeling it and it was a case of making a quick change in the business end of the game.”

Rafael…

He (Rafael) does it week in, week out, and we take it for granted at times, every week we’re saying the same things about him. He’s a top class keeper.

Half-time team talk…

“I said to the players it was probably the poorest 45 minutes in the last six games, but it happens. I wanted them to play their football and enjoy it.”

Lucas Joao injury…

“Lucas is going to be out for a significant amount of time. Probably nearly two months. He has a problem with his hamstring that needs resolving.”

Buying a striker in the transfer window…

“We will be looking to strengthen if we can, but whether that is possible I don’t know. We don’t want to do it just for the sake of it. He (Joao) has been a key player, but before him, Puscas was a key player and so was Sam Baldock, so we have players fighting for positions and that can only be good.”

Unbeaten run…

“Every game we need to try and pick up points, and if its not a win, lets get a point and move on and that’s what we did today, so I’m delighted.”

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