Reading Football Club are delighted to announce that manager Mark Bowen has put pen to paper on a new contract, which will see him remain as Royals boss until the summer of 2021.
Assistant Manager Eddie Niedzwiecki and First Team Coach John O’Shea have also signed new deals with the club as key members of Bowen’s team in the home dugout at Madejski Stadium, while it has also been agreed that Goalkeeping Coach James Bittner will continue in his role with the first team until the end of the current campaign.
Bowen stepped up from his role as Sporting Director to take the first team reins in mid-October and his impact was immediate.
Previously winless in seven prior to his arrival as manager, the Royals went unbeaten in Bowen’s first four games – conquering Preston North End, Millwall and Luton Town at home whilst securing a draw at Loftus Road in the opening three weeks of his tenure.
A fabulous winning streak over the festive period earned the club valuable home victories over Derby County and QPR coupled with impressive wins at promotion-chasing Preston and Fulham. It also saw the Welshman shortlisted as a nominee for the Championship’s Manager of the Month accolade in only his second full month as a manager.
And following a comfortable Third Round replay win at Bloomfield Road on Tuesday night, the Royals have stretched their most recent unbeaten streak to nine games going into this weekend’s clash at Millwall.
Nine wins, five draws and just three defeats have earned Bowen and his coaching staff a current win ratio of 53% and, most importantly, have propelled the Royals up the Sky Bet Championship table and into the Fourth Round of the Emirates FA Cup.
Formerly a player with in excess of 500 appearances to his name and a coach with more than 20 years of experience written into his CV, Mark Bowen is clearly enjoying his maiden role as first team manager.
Chief Executive Nigel Howe commented, “A manager with a very clear understanding of what it takes to win football matches in this division, Mark has managed to galvanise this group of players and instil fight, determination and desire into the dressing room which has had an instant impact on performances and our points tally.
“Mark would be the first to modestly highlight that this has been a good start…but only that; there is much more to achieve with this group of players. But I am delighted that, in a very short period of time as manager, he has proven himself a very clever, conscientious and capable manager and he fully deserves this new contract at the club.”