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🗩 Bowen | "A mature, professional, accomplished performance from a young side"

Royals boss reflects on a Third Round replay win that stretches our unbeaten run to nine games in total...

14 January 2020

A Third Round victory that was impressive and ultimately very comfortable - and the Royals boss was very pleased with a young side who bossed their Bloomfield Road hosts this evening.

"I'm delighted. I made my mind up to play some of the guys who have waited for game time and also some of the youngsters," he began.

"And coming to a place like this, with the ammunition they've got - I knew they were going to cause us problems and that it would be a battle. But it never became that battle, because our decisions on the ball were really clever and sharp.

"We just handled the game well, so professional.

"I thought Tom Mac was absolutely awesome at the back and I'm delighted for him. The keeper saved us when we needed him, Sam looked really assured. Andre Burley what a performance he put in, Teddy Howe had a great game...they all stood up to the challenge at the back.

"Garath in that midfield role, he's an intelligent player - you can put him into certain situations and he'll make the right decisions.

"Since he's come back into this team, he's proven to me that he's more than just a right winger - he can go and do a number of jobs. I gave him the captain's armband today and throughout the game he was giving sound advice to all the young players.

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"But they're all good, proper players. They all made good decisions on the ball, good passing to create chances - we hit the woodwork three or four times so it could have been more.

"The team tonight are all looking at me wide-eyed asking if they've got a chance of playing on Saturday. And that's what I wanted.

"All of them showed me tonight that they can really push for a place in the first team for the league games we have coming up. So it was a really accomplished performance from a young side.

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"It's a long trip home now but it's always better when you win. I said before the game that if we are going to travel all this way for a replay, we can at least give our fans something to go home celebrating. We had to make sure that we put in a performance for those fans.

"Everbody likes a cup run, the fans, the players, myself. So we'll look forward to seeing who we get at Madejski Stadium in the Fourth Round.

"We're nine games unbeaten now and that snowball effect is great. Let's make sure this continues for as long as possible."

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