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"Let's all get behind each other and stick together"

Mark Bowen speaks after being appointed manager

15 October 2019

Mark Bowen spoke of his delight at becoming Reading's new manager on Monday, as he gets set to take training and step into the dugout in RG2.

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In a wide-ranging first interview as manager, he outlined his hopes for the squad, his enjoyment at improving players and, ultimately, his hope to win football matches.

"I'm absolutely delighted," he said. "It's been a difficult week, ten days since the last game. It's obviously been busy where we've been focussing on other things, but when the opportunity was given to me, the question was asked if I would be prepared to take over, it took me all of two minutes to say yes.

"I've been in the club from a short period of time, since last March, but you quickly recognise what a special place it is with special people to work with and for, so it's a really exciting time. I can't wait to get started and get on with things.

"I was enjoying the role as Sporting Director - it was something that was new to me. It was a completely different situation to what I've been used to over the years, but I've been enjoying it.

"At the same time, what I consider my forte and what I've been good at over the last 20 years has been coaching players, educating players, getting the best out of players, problem solving and preparing teams to go and win football matches."


"When you've got a group of players, to try and get in their heads and try and improve them as well, not just as individuals but as a team as well - that's been the focus of my life for so long now.

"We've got a group of players here that work well together, they're a good group. They get on together, they're very conscientious, they want to do the right things. As a starting block, that's very important as well. 

"I look at the players and they want to do the right things. They want to push on for the club, they've got a feeling for the club, so it's an ideal starting point."

Bowen's first test will be a home match against Preston North End this Saturday at Madejski Stadium, with the Royals hoping to get off to a good start in their next run of matches.

The new manager said that togetherness is key when it comes to moving forward as a club.

"We've got a difficult four days leading up to Saturday now, with players coming back from international duty as well - we've got to make sure we're focussed after what's been happening over the last week or so.

"When I came in in March, the first thing that struck me was the camaraderie within the club and the feeling the supporters had towards the team - and that's massive.

“Myself coming into the job now, the players as well – the first thing we’ll all say is, we can’t do it without the fans' backing. 

"All I can ask of them and the club now is to all get behind each other and stick together because that's the only way this club will move forward."


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