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"Every player contributed and our fans got right behind us"

Royals boss Mark Bowen reflects on his first victory in the home dugout at the Madejski...

19 October 2019

"Did you enjoy it?" came the question to Royals boss Mark Bowen after this afternoon's last gasp win over Preston North End. "I enjoyed it at the end!" Bowen smiled. "No, but during the game I was just nervous...because you know what it means to the players and the fans here.

"It was a scrappy, stop-start game," he continued. "From a tactical point of view we wanted to get the ball forward and into their box a bit quicker. But we were probably trying to go from back to front too quickly in the first half.

"So at half-time I asked them to try to be a bit more patient and take that extra pass.

"We did that and every player contributed and you get the rewards for what you put in.

"Every player put in a great shift in for me today. Our back five for example...Matt Miazga had been away with the USA until late in the week, Michael Morrison had missed training earlier in the week with a stomach bug but you can see from the cut to his eye how brave he was this afternoon, the captain Liam Moore led by example of course, Jordan Obita created the goal with a tremendous shot at the end and Andy Yiadom just up and down that right side, so much energy.

"I'm proud of the way the lads tackled the game. I gave them lots of information to take on board - you can imagine with a new manager coming in you tend to bombard them with information sometimes and you wonder whether they have been able to take it all on board.

"Throughout the game I thought we were the better side. We created the more clear cut chances - albeit those chances were too few and far between - and as the game progressed in the second half I always thought the chances would come.

"We were the side in the ascendancy for the large part of the game and I thought if any team was going to nick it it would be us. I didn't think it would take until the last kick of the game!

"Too many times lately this team have been chasing games, conceding silly goals and then always playing catch-up. But we were very solid defensively.

"I knew if we could stay at 0-0 until 70 minutes, it's a special thing about this place when the crowd get going and push the team forward in the last 20 minutes or so. 

"I thought worst case scenario it was going to be a clean sheet and a 0-0 draw. But sometimes the gods smile on you and you get a last minute winner.

"The old cliche is, it's better to be a lucky manager than a good one. And we had that bit of luck on our side today.

"I feel for the fans and the players this season. We believe we're in a false position. And I knew when I turned up today that the fans would be behind the team and myself and they were, right from the start."


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