The Wokingham Paper

Mark Bowen on: unbeaten start, defensive resilience, Moore injury, Obita goal, home crowd and more

Reading made it consecutive wins to move up to 15th.

Mark Bowen said he was delighted with his team’s resilience as they held on to secure a 2-1 win against Millwall at the Madejski Stadium.

Bowen is now unbeaten in his first three games in charge of the Royals with struggling Luton Town next to visit the Madejski next Saturday.

On the win…

“It was a battle. I said to the guys, just as Liam Moore went off and we regrouped after losing our leader and they came into the ascendancy and it became scrappy for us.

“After the first hour, we dominated the game and possession and were comfortable, we expected a bombshell to go off and that happened after their goal. Gary is adapt to that, he used subs to the full extent.

“It was pleasing now its over and we can look back that come through a period where maybe before we would have gone under. We showed a lot of character and resilience to get the three points.”

Obita and Baldock’s goals…

“I’m absolutely delighted for Jordan. He’s had a horrific couple of years with injuries, with lonely days on the training ground on his own getting back to fitness. It’s momenta like that you look at him and think ‘what a character.’

“Sam Baldock has showed great professionalism as well, he’s had troubled times but again showed with his strike what he’s capable of. He reminded everyone of his quality today.”

Liam Moore’s injury…

“Liam said to me his shoulder had popped out in the first half. He had a couple of injections at half time and had a really bad fall in the second half and said he was really sore. At this stage we’ll have to see how it settles down.

“Rafael said he felt a pull in his calf at the end of the game, hell have a scan on Monday and we won’t be able to tell until then.”

Targets before the international break…

“If my hair hadn’t fallen out already, it’d be coming out in clumps now, its certainly stressful but I’m pleased because it’s a joy as a coach to try and make an impact on the players.

“I knew the group I inherited, the character they had and try and add to it and they’ve given back o me in leaps and bounds but ill keep putting the demands on them.

“We’ve got a game to win against Luton before the international break and we need to get up the table and be in our rightful place with the better sides in the league.

“We’ve had three good games and results and were still not within touching distance of where id like us to be so there’s a lot of work to be done yet.”

Importance of good home form…

“It was nice to be back in front of the fans today, we’ve got a Luton side next week and any side in this league, if you don’t prepare right you’ll catch a cold. It was the first time today where we were favourites and it’s a different mentality.

“We took the game to them first half and played like favourites when sometimes it can be a burden. It will be the same again against Luton, we need to balance our game and use our ability on the ball which we did for the first 65 mins today.

“If we keep creating, then we’ll score goals and win games.

“The home form is important because we have to get the local fan base back, they want to see good football and winning football. It’s great playing at home and even better if we can get bums on seats, we’ve got a lot of pay back to give to the fans.

“We’ve got to keep getting results and show the community we are worth spending their hard earned cash to come and watch us on a Saturday afternoon.”

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