Reading’s search for a replacement for Paul Clement has come to an end just over two weeks after the Englishman was sacked, and the new man in the Mad Stad hotseat is Jose Manuel Gomes.
Reports in Portugal began to name the Rio Ave coach as the Royals’ preferred option on Thursday night, after a failed attempt to sign his Vitoria Guimaraes counterpart Luis Castro. The reason behind the club’s apparent allurement to a Portuguese tactician remains a curious one.
Gomes was confirmed on Saturday after the defeat to Middlesbrough. He'll take charge for the trip to Millwall on Boxing Day.
Nigel Howe said:
“I am absolutely delighted that, in José Gomes, we have been able to secure the services of a manager with a very impressive reputation in his native Portugal.
“He brings new energy, excitement and impetus to Reading Football Club and, importantly, he boasts a reputation of creating winning teams with an exciting brand of football. I would like to personally welcome José to Madejski Stadium and look forward to working closely with him and his coaching team to help to drive this club forward.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to personally thank Scott Marshall for taking first team managerial duties over the last couple of weeks. He has been the consummate professional throughout and will remain a vital cog in connecting our Academy with José’s first team going forward.”
Gomes is something of a journeyman manager with stints in Hungary, Saudi Arabia and his native Portugal as a manager, having begun his career as a fitness - and later assistant - coach at clubs including Malaga and Panathinaikos.
His biggest success came at Saudi side Al Taawoun, where he delivered an unfancied side to third in the table for their first-ever Asian Champions League appearance. That earned him a move to the larger Al-Ahli where he lifted the Saudi Super Cup before being quickly removed after a downturn in form."