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Bowen not ready to settle ahead of Craven Cottage trip

Boss previews Fulham fixture

31 December 2019

It’s been a positive end to the decade – three straight wins have put the Royals on the right kind of trajectory.

As far as manager Mark Bowen is concerned, that should just be the start of it.

No resting on laurels and being content with that. He wants to keep up that pursuit of points at Fulham on New Year’s Day, and go flying into 2020 on the front foot.

“We’ve got a very difficult game coming up now against Fulham,” Bowen said. “So we have to wipe ourselves down and recover, and make sure we go there and get something again.

“We know to expect a difficult afternoon against a really accomplished side.

“This league is brutal and unforgiving, so if you take your eye off the ball or look too far ahead, you can quickly take two steps backwards. So we need to make sure we’re professional and do the job in hand and keep climbing the table.

“The players have confidence and we know we’re a match for any team in the league, if we do things right.

“Our biggest danger ahead of Preston was that we had won a couple and kept three clean sheets. It would have been easy to pat ourselves on the back and told ourselves that even if we’d been beaten, it had been a decent Christmas.

“But that’s not good enough and we have a lot of catching up to do. We want to keep pushing on in every single game we play. And now, ahead of Fulham, my players are fully focused and ready for the battle ahead.”

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That short hop over to West London is always a popular one – but the boss was also delighted to see so many on the road at Deepdale on Sunday, where they witnessed a perfect away performance.

“It surprised me how many were there against Preston,” he continued.

“We had a couple of away games against Barnsley and Stoke, where we got points – as a manager I’m happy with a point, but I understand that it might be difficult for our fans and see their team grind it out like that.

“But hopefully that result at Deepdale has paid them back for the long journey they made over Christmas again. So hopefully they’ll be there in numbers against Fulham and see us get something there too.”


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