Is this really happening?
Mark Bowen, Reading’s technical director who was involved in the sacking of Jose Gomes, has been named as the new Royals manager.
Bowen first joined the club as a consultant towards the end of last season, before becoming technical director in the summer. Now, following Gomes’s departure, he is the main man in the dugout.
It will be his first job in management having largely spent his post-playing career, which included one appearance for Reading, as assistant to Mark Hughes with the Wales national team, Blackburn, Manchester City, Fulham, QPR, Stoke and most recently Southampton. He was also second fiddle to Steve Bruce at Crystal Palace and Birmingham City.
In the past, the 55-year-old has been linked with taking over at West Brom, Norwich and Swansea respectively. In January 2018, he was interviewed by the Welsh FA for the vacant managerial position, eventually losing out to Ryan Giggs.
So now Bowen finally has got his wish to be a number one, and he will reportedly be joined by assistant Eddie Niedzwiecki, another associate of Hughes. Niedzwiecki, a former goalkeeper, has actually taken charge of Reading before - having seven games as caretaker manager in 1991 (W1 D1 L5).
On the appointment, Chief Executive Nigel Howe said:
“In the relatively short period of time that Mark has already spent at Reading Football Club, he has commanded respect and admiration from all who have worked alongside him. He came in at a critical period last season to help us retain our Championship status and had an immediate impact.
“Mark has two decades of coaching background on his CV, has tasted promotion to the Premier League and spent most of his coaching career in top-flight football. He knows this club and the owner and the board believe he is very capable of getting the very best out of a talented group of first team players and achieving the results we all want.”