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💬 Bowen on the system, the challenge ahead and the prospect of Spurs up next!

Royals boss reflects on a 2-1 pre-season friendly win over Gillingham this afternoon...

22 August 2020

Two goals within the space of a minute or two earned Reading victory in their first pre-season friendly of 2020-21 and Royals boss Mark Bowen was pleased with the work out his side got against the Gills at Madejski Stadium...

"Really pleased," he began. "This year, we'll be looking to play with a back three but I'm going to ask them to be a little bit more expansive.

"Within that framework, we've touched on elements of it in training and I saw some of those transfer into our game today which is important.

"We've got to be in control of our destiny in terms of possession - at times we did that last season and, when we did, we normally got results off the back of it. 

"Gillingham came here to give us a hard game but we scored two and it could have been five or six with the good chances we created. 

"The likes of Sheffield United, Wolves, Swansea City all played this system to good effect last season and it's a system that can be successful in this league.

"We'll work on it and continue to work on it coming up to the first game of the season. Of course we have to still be adaptable and maybe flip it round or change the system for some games - but in general if we have a consistent style of play that suits the players we've got here, it can only be good for us and lead to good performances and good results.

"We had a lot of ball today and were allowed to be expansive in our play. But we've got to go to Spurs next and see if we can do the same, making sure that in the transition of play we're organised.

"We've got two difficult games in Spurs and West Ham, but two games which will stand us in good stead for the season ahead.

"Spurs itself is where I learned my trade as a young player. I haven't been back there since they built the new stadoum, so it'll be a nice occasion for myself and the players.

"Hopefully we don't come away from there with our backsides kicked - we have to be professional and do a good job."

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