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“I’m pleased with the effort – but we didn’t create clear-cut chances”

Bowen on a point apiece in Stoke

14 December 2019

Reading’s encounter away at Stoke saw defences on top. Neither goalkeeper really worked too hard, as each team’s attack were unable to pick holes in their opponents’ back-line.

Two starters from the last game were out of action – Matt Miazga was missing with a hamstring injury, while George Pușcaș was sidelined after injuring his shoulder in Barnsley.

For a Royals side whose treatment table is getting busier, it represented a decent return on a trip to a notoriously difficult ground to visit. Spoils shared; a fair reflection.

 “Any point away from home in this league, you’ll take,” said boss Mark Bowen. “Especially with the way things have gone, in that this is my tenth game with the club and today I’m missing five of the starting players from the first game through injury.

“We’ve had a bit of bad luck with injuries but you have to deal with that. And the players that I’m bringing in are doing a job for the team.

“We had to flip around the way we’re playing too – we have been playing with three at the back but we had to switch it around in a short space of time. This league doesn’t allow you a lot of time to prepare between games.

“So we’ve come here and the lads have played into that, and at times had really good possession. At times we could have been more productive, but we were fairly comfortable throughout. We defended really well with a flat back four, which is the first time we have started with that system since I’ve been here.

“I’m pleased with the effort that the lads put in and the attacks we tried to build, but we didn’t create enough chances for our strikers. We didn’t create clear-cut opportunities for our strikers and we have to be better at that.

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“But it was important to come away from home and try to have more control of the game, which we didn’t have against Barnsley.

“We spoke at half-time about trying to keep possession, but also whether we could play it a little bit quicker to the strikers to give them a better opportunity. If you delay the pass for a couple of seconds longer, the chance has gone. We spoke about it but couldn’t quite execute it.

“Now we’ve got a week to work ahead of Derby at home. It’ll nice to be back home after being away and playing games on the road twice this week.”


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