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Interviews

🗨️ "We have to strive for consistency over the final five!"

Royals boss refuses to just see the season out...

6 July 2020

5-0 victories are not easy to come by. And four goals coming from one player in a match is even more unique. So the question ahead of Tuesday night's meeting with Huddersfield will be in which position our star forward starts...

"Yakou actually came to see me a couple of days before the Luton game and he asked me if he could play as the no.9," the manager smiled.

"I told him that he’d get as many chances coming in from that wide area, because sometimes you’re harder to mark.

"After the game at the weekend, he'd scored four - and I gave him a wry look in the dressing room. He he gave me a nod, as if to say 'you might have been right on that one'. I think I won that one on this occasion.

Much like Luton, Huddersfield are scrapping for points near the foot of the table too - and the Royals will be wary of the threat they will pose when they arrive in RG2. 

"We were back in training to get our feet back on the ground after a good performance – and from that moment it’s been about making sure we get another good result on Tuesday.

"There is always something to play for in football. Myself and the staff won’t put up with just trying to see the season out. We have to push these players on to get results for the club.

"I said to the players after we'd lost 3-0 at home to Brentford last Tuesday – the thing that infuriates me is that we’re better than we showed last week. And we showed that four days later. So it's consistency we have to push for in every single game.

"We need to strive for that consistency in the last five games. When we put the effort in and work to the game plan, we can be a difficult side to beat, horrible to play against but also with very good players when we get the ball in good areas.

"So we have got to make sure it wasn’t just a one-off on Saturday. The group of players I’ve got have got the ability to compete and beat the best sides in this division. But we’ve got to find that consistency.

"We want to give the fans of this club something to be proud of. If we can’t get to the top six, then we have to strive for a top ten finish, if not that it has to be a top half finish – there is always something to go for in this game. And we have to keep demanding of each other over the next five games."

The games often come thick and fast in the Championship, but the situation with the current protracted campaign means that three games a week has become the short-term norm for the players. But naturally, only three days after that 5-0 win, the Royals boss will be keen to make sure his starting eleven are fighting fit for what will be another tough challenge.

"I had the rare opportunity at Luton to go into the last half an hour and asking my staff to remind me of the players who need a rest," Bowen said.

"John Swift had a few bumps after the Brentofrd game, and Yakou has had a bit of soreness in his knee, George Piuscas too – so we were looking to see who we could give half an hour’s extra rest to and allow them to be a little bit fresher going into Tuesday.

"But we were in on Sunday recovering from Saturday’s game, and then our minds were set on what we have to do to get a win on Tuesday night. And I really want to be talking about another three points under our belts come 8 o’clock on Tuesday night."


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