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🗨️ Bowen | "I'm sitting here a proud man"

Royals boss pleased to be in the hat if not yet through a Fourth Round tie...

25 January 2020

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A young side did Royals boss Mark Bowen proud and enough out on the pitch this afternoon to ensure Reading fans will be able to watch Monday night's Fifth Round draw with vested interest.

"You play any Neil Harris team and you know you'll have a difficult afternoon on your hands. We had a young side out there and I think they stood up to the challenge really well.

"They showed great character and when we did get it down and play there were times we cut through them. I thought it was a good performance against difficult opposition.

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"It wasn't a great start for us, we were caught a little bit cold with that ball into the box and they scored early. But we shrugged it off, went forward, tried to follow the gameplan and we got straight back into it.

"As the game went on, with Matt Miazga going off injured and then playing with ten men at the end - you're expecting the worst a little bit. But the young players stood up to it, the more experienced players organising the team well and galvanising the players around him.

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"So I'm sitting here a proud man, because we made a lot of changes and this young side stood up to the challenge.

"A very similar group of players went up to Blackpool in the last round and did a fantastic job, so I had no fears they could come onto this stage and produce again. And that's what they did.

"Hand on heart, I don't think myself nor Neil Harris wanted a replay. But we'll see what the draw on Monday night brings and then we'll go again in the replay.

"You always want to be sitting and watching the draw for the next round of the FA Cup and for your team to be part of that draw. We've not got through the tie, but we're in the hat and we'll look forward to Monday night and see what it produces."

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