Is this the turning point? Four points in four days means we are beginning to rise up the table and two good results against top five teams will put confidence into the players.
The Royals travelled to QPR and put in a promising display. After coming off the bench on Saturday, Sam Baldock started the game and made an impact, as did substitute Garath McCleary. We left with a well deserved point thanks to goals from George Puscas and Baldock.
Mark Bowen was pleased with the draw, speaking to GetReading after the game.
Bowen on the game
“Any point away from home in this division is good and especially in the way it was earned tonight. We came back into the game twice from behind and I thought we showed tremendous resilience in doing that and taking the game to them. And at the end after we got the equaliser we were in the ascendancy. Their manager changed their shape at half time because we were causing them so many problems.
“They had a spell in which they dominated for 15 minutes in the second half so we had to change our way. I changed Andy Rinomhota who has been ill and got John Swift to control possession and give us a bit more quality in terms of passing going forward. We sacrificed a tiny bit of defensive resilience to try and control the game more.
“Garath McCleary came on and took on board the way I wanted him to play and one of the most pleasing things is our two strikers have scored. Special mention for Sam Baldock - I have to judge these players and I will judge them on how hard they work in the week.
“There’s no point in thinking you can just turn it on on a Saturday or a Tuesday. You have to show that through the week in everything you do. From the first moment in the job Baldock has been an example to everybody with his work rate and everything he does and he got his just rewards tonight. Also special mention to Puscas who took his goal fantastically well.”
Bowen on the pressure on Puscas
“We are blessed with good strikers - Danny Loader is on the bench and he is a top quality young player.
“McCleary can play that top role as well but Puscas feels it because he thinks himself as the talisman for the club. He’s had a difficult time but he hasn’t been frustrated that much because he’s been getting chances.
“As a striker he knows things will start going for him and the way he took his goal was with a calm assurance and I was pleased with that. The hard yards are when you go in and run behind defenders and that’s where he got his rewards.”
Bowen on Baldock and McCleary
“They do look very hungry - I don’t know if they have a point to prove but they are just hungry to get in the team and stay in the team.
“Their chances have been few and far between so I am delighted for them but I could mention all of my players.
“QPR have been flying high and scoring goals so to come here on the back of our performances in recent weeks - to stay in the game and come back twice - so full credit to the guys.”
Bowen on Meite’s injury
“He has got a swollen ankle. He was banging my door down wanting to play but he’s a little way away from that. He had a scan today so we’ll tomorrow how the swelling is.”
Bowen on coming back from behind, twice
“I sense a resilience in the players. They are a group who are desperate to do well for the club and the fans.
“There has been a change of manager, but the previous manager didn’t do much wrong, if anything. Football is a brutal game and I’ve had some luck in the past two games.
“Things went for me but I have a group of lads who just want to work hard and be successful and when you have those ingredients I consider myself very lucky as a coach.”
Bowen on four points in two games
“We have to keep it going but we proved in the last two games we have been solid. We conceded twice but there weren’t lots of chances against and we defended well for the majority of the game.”