New Reading manager Mark Bowen claims he had no part to play in sacking of Jose Gomes

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Reading manager Mark Bowen (pictures by Steve Smyth)
Reading new manager, Mark Bowen, takes charge of training session followed by a press conference on Tuesday.

New Reading manager Mark Bowen claims that he had no part in the dismissal of previous manager Jose Gomes while acting of sporting director.

“The things that said I was involved in the dismissal of Jose, that couldn’t be further from the truth,” said Bowen.

“I wasn’t at the Bristol City game, I watched the game I streamed it and after the game spoke to Jose and got a phone call over the weekend saying the decision had been made by the owner to change manager I was disappointed for Jose because I had a fantastic relationship with him.

Reading’s new manager, Mark Bowen, takes charge of training session followed by a press conference on Tuesday.(Pictures by Steve Smyth)

“I spoke to him yesterday and asked some advice, my relationship with him hasn’t changed and it’s natural that people think I decided would be the manager but that’s not true.”

On being offered the manager’s job…

“Everything has happened so quickly over the last few days. I’m conscious of the fact I’ve been offered a fantastic opportunity and intend to use all other means at my disposal to get this talented squad players up the league.

“It seems to me I’ve spent 40 years in the game, 20 as a player and 20 as a coach and my reputation seems to have been burnt down in one swoop. I was brought in the summer by the club as sporting director, looking at the way the club was turn and really enjoying it.

“My role as director was to run alongside Jose Gomes to make the special club a vibrant one in the future. I was told of the decision over the weekend I was then tasked with the process of drawing up a list of candidates for the owner and the board. I don’t mind admitting that id already spoken to two or three candidates. 


Mark Bowen spoke to the media for the first time as Reading boss at Hogwood Park.

“I then got a phone call over the weekend saying the owner had a look at things and wanted as little disruption as possible. Jose had six staff here, the only two that have left are him and his assistant. It was put to me the least intrusive way of doing things was offered the job and bring in an assistant.

“I was stunned to be offered the job. The owner makes the decisions and when he asked me straight away my thought process was- yes absolutely. 

“We’ve got a very good squad of players and even at this stage of the season my process will be to try and take them forwards towards the play-offs. Maybe a coach with a  different method and philosophy and demands can make a difference. 

Conversation with Jose Gomes…

“I told Jose I had been offered the job, he was very pleased or me and said he had conversations in leaving the club that my name was mentioned and he gave me a glowing reference, I was very honoured that he had done that. 

I don’t feel any guilt, when I came in last season I was brought in as a technical adviser, and this year as a sporting director away from Jose other than in pre-season getting in the targets. Once the season started, the only real connection I had with the first team was watching games on a Saturday. “


Mark Bowen takes Tuesday morning’s training session. (Pictures by Steve Smyth).

Length of contract…

“My contract is until the end of the season. I didn’t think about the length of the contract, or ask about any spending in January, it was put to me whether I would want the opportunity to take the team forward and didn’t give it much thought other than thinking this is a fabulous club with a great group of players. 

“Things haven’t worked this season and the table doesn’t lie. I feel completely honoured to be given the chance.”

Philosophy and style of play…

“I want to play fast, attacking football that entertains the crowd. I know the squads I’ve got and the way I want to play is winning football, get the ball forward quickly and give our talented strikers chance to start banging in goals. 


Mark Bowen and his assistant manager Eddie Niedzwiecki.
Mark Bowen and his assistant manager Eddie Niedzwiecki. (Pictures by Steve Smyth).

Reaction from the fans…

“Hopefully my history and CV will show the fans I have shown loyalty everywhere I’ve been. I thought I would be a sporting director for the next 15 years. But when offered the managers job, I didn’t think twice. I don’t want to into Saturday’s game with it being about me, it’s about the players and the club and getting us up the table. 

“The only way I can change the fans opinion of me is by putting points on the board.”

Team selection for Saturday…

“We’ve got a busy week and I’ll pick the team that I think will serve us best. We’ve got injuries and we’ll have to see how a few are coming back from the international break. There’s also a bit of illness around the camp. Michael Morrison has a stomach illness and left the training ground early today.”

The Royals prepare to host Preston North End on Saturday. (Pictures by Steve Smyth).

Bowen takes charge of his first Reading match on Saturday against Preston North End at the Madejski Stadium (3pm kick off).


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