The Royals rested all eleven starters from the wins at Preston and Fulham, but will now have to tackle a trip to the seaside in ten days' time as a replay will be required to determine which team will go into the Fourth Round of the Emirates FA Cup.
"I was just talking to Simon Grayson and I don’t think either of us are happy with a replay," Bowen smiled. "In our respective leagues we’re both looking to push up the table so we could have probably done without another game.
"We made a lot of changes. I felt that the lads who had done so well over the Christmas period deserved a rest, physically and mentally, so that we’d be fresh going into the Nottingham Forest game next weekend here – which will be a big game.
"I made the changes, and I felt that we had enough to compete and get a result against Blackpool. And we started well.
"We were really in control of things in the first half-hour in possession. But then we were undone by their physicality for their first goal, we didn’t stop the cross and we got caught at the far post.
"In the second half some individuals got a bit tired and a bit sloppy. They missed a penalty, but I’ve looked back at some of the incidents and I think we had two cast-iron penalties that weren’t given.
"Time and time again in the Third Round of the FA Cup, if teams don’t do things right they get knocked out by lower-league opposition. But we showed a lot of resilience and character to come from behind twice against a team who were flying in their league not too long ago."
The changes made by Bowen meant professional debuts for Andrew Burley and then Ramarni Medford-Smith off the bench - two Academy graduates who will not see their names added to our Honours Board as the 54th and 55th to have come through the Royals ranks and represent the first team.
"It is difficult for young players – if they come in to a more senior environment, and it’s just one of them coming in, it’s a lot easier for them to find their feet and blend in. If you have four or five coming into the starting line up, it can be difficult – there aren’t so many calming heads around you.
📸 Gallery | Royals remain in the hat but head to Bloomfield Road for a replay4 January 2020
"But Andre Burley came in for his debut and did well. Michael Olise came into a different position in central midfield and did well too, setting up the chance for Sam Baldock.
"And then the likes of Ramarni Medford-Smith making his debut, Omar Richards playing, Danny Loader with a very clever finish too for his goal - he’s a very good young pro and he’ll fight for his chance.
"We're still in the cup and now Forest at home next weekend is the important thing. We are in a good place in terms of our confidence, togetherness and where we are. So we have to make sure from Monday onwards, we’ll be building up to hosting Nottingham Forest. So bring it on."