The Wokingham Paper

Mark Bowen on: Three consecutive clean sheets, defensive resolve, injury updates, Puscas and more

Mark Bowen. Reading v Wigan
Mark Bowen

Reading manager Mark Bowen praised his sides ‘resolve, heart and determination’ as the Royals took three points away at Charlton Athletic.

“It’s good to be safe,” said Bowen after his side confirmed their Championship status for another season with a 1-0 win at the Valley.

“We got our noses in front and it was a battle. They put us under a lot of pressure. It was a case of our resolve, determination and heart to see the game out and get three points.”

Despite the victory, Bowen admitted that he felt sympathy for opposing manager Lee Bowyer after the referee’s performance.

“I felt for Lee Bowyer today. There were one or two decisions that I raised my eyebrow to today.”

The Royals have now kept three consecutive clean sheets since young defender Tom McIntyre has replaced captain Liam Moore in the starting eleven.

“The margins are small in this league so you have to make sure that you’re defensively solid. Liam Moore sat in front of the two central defenders when he came on and did that fabulously.

“I’ve got no doubt Tom will grow in stature and get consistency in his game. He’s been very unlucky with injuries. If we can keep him fit and well he’s a very important player for me and this club.

“We’ve got another clean sheet. Everyday Liam will come in and train to the best of his ability and will be pushing to get back in. I’ve got to look at each game as it comes and assess where we are with it.”

George Puscas claimed his 13th goal of the season, but Bowen is keen for him to improve in other areas of his game.

“It’s his job to score goals and he took his penalty well today. He’s got other areas of his game to work on and he’s working very hard on that. There’s a lot more to come from him.

“We have to provide him with more clear chances. I was looking to freshen it up and use Sam to run the channels when I brought him on”

Bowen admitted that he has one eye looking ahead to next season but is keen for the Royals to push up the table.

“I’ve got one eye on next season but I want to create a winning mentality in the team and the club so I’ll pick teams that can get us points.

“I absolutely love him (Olise) as a player and he’s going to have a big future at this club.

“Ovie (Ejaria) had a bad tackle at Luton. He went over on his ankle. He had a scan and there’s not a lot on it. I’m hopeful he will be available for Tuesday but if not then for Saturday.”

Reading host Neil Warnock’s Middlesbrough on Tuesday and Bowen is expecting another tough test against a side fighting to stay up.

“I’ve got enormous admiration for what Neil Warnock has done in this league. We have to be prepared, focused and ready.”

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