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Mark Bowen Delighted By Both Sides Of Reading’s Performance In Millwall Win

Reading cruised in the first half against Millwall, but showed a different side in the second half.

Reading v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship - Madejski Stadium Photo by Zac Goodwin/EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images

Mark Bowen’s tenure at Reading has started very well with the Royals undefeated since he’s taken charge. Millwall were the visitors to the Madejski Stadium this weekend and were stunned in the first half with Reading going 2-0 up through brilliant strikes from Jordan Obita and Sam Baldock. Millwall scored in the second half through Jed Wallace to put the pressure on but our hard work had paid off and we brought home all three points.

Bowen was very happy after the game picking up his second consecutive home win. He spoke to the official club website and GetReading.

Bowen on the game

“We were totally in charge in the first half. Jordan created a goal with a shot just like that against Preston and I’m delighted he scored today.

”And the same goes for Sam Baldock, he’s come back into the team in the last two games and shown real character. Everyone sees all the work he puts in on and off the ball, and he’s reminding everyone of the quality he has - what a strike it was to go and win the game for us.

”Liam going off threw us a little bit, as it would when you lose the leader of the group. They came into the ascendancy and they got their goal. That didn’t help my blood pressure.

“But we battled away, soaked up a lot of pressure - which we knew we’d have to do against a team who went direct and who brought on two big guys in Bodvarsson and Smith who thrive on that - and for our guys to cope with that pressure, they showed their character, heart, the nasty side of the game.

”So to come through that sort of pressure at the end, that will stand us in good stead going forward.

”We played for more than hour when we’ve totally dominated possession, created good chances - we’re still striving for that balance between battling away to earn the right to play and then playing our game, but I was delighted that we showed both sides today.”

Bowen on Obita’s and Baldock’s goals

“They were fabulous goals. I’m absolutely delighted for Jordan - he has had a horrific couple of years with injuries and lots of lonely days on the training ground on his own and in the gym getting back to fitness.

“It’s times like that when I look at him after the game and say what a character.

“Baldock as well as had troubled times but he has shown fantastic professionalism and showed with his goal what he is capable of - myself included.

“I’ve had a look at Sam and his attributes are running in, chasing, his work rate which he has got but he reminded every one today he has got quality to go with it.”

Bowen on Moore’s injury

“He said to me his shoulder had popped out in the first half. He had a couple of injections at half time but had a really bad fall in the second half and when he came off he was really sore.

“We’ll see how it settles down but he was certainly very sore.

“Rafael said he felt a pull in his calf too at the end so we’ll have to see how that settles down. He’ll have a scan on Monday to see how bad it is.”

Bowen on his unbeaten start

“It’s not easy - if my hair hadn’t fallen out already it would have come out in lumps by now. It’s stressful, we know that but I’m pleased. My joy as working as a coach is trying to make an impact on the players.

“I knew with the group I was inheriting their character. I was trying to do a few things different with them and they have given it back to me in leaps and bounds.

“But I will keep putting them under pressure, keep putting demands on them. We’ve got an international break coming up but we’ve got a home game against Luton to win before that.

“We can’t switch off, we have to get up the table and be in our rightful place with the better sides in this league.”

Bowen on the importance of the points

“We’ve had a good three games but we’re still not within touching distance of where we want to be done so there is a lot of work to be done yet.

“It’s great to win and we’ll all have a nice Saturday night but we’ll come back in on Monday and refocus.

“We’re professionals, we need to get on with the job first.”

Bowen on the challenge of Luton Town next weekend

“In my first two games we went into them as underdogs and we picked up four points. Arguably today we were favourites, even though Millwall were ahead of us in the table, so that came with a different pressure. In my mind, I expected us to win the game and we did.

”I look at that table though and we’re still not within touching distance of where I want us to be. We’ve got a result today, but we’re professionals and we’ve got to dust ourselves down, train hard this week and look win again against Luton next weekend.

”And playing like we did in the first half and getting results like we did today will help bring the community back and get bums on seats here at the Madejski. We want people to come and watch us play, but these people have got to pay their hard earned cash so we know we’ve got to give them something to cheer and get behind.

”Our owner Mr Dai was here today and came down to the dressing room after the game to congratulate the lads - but we’re fully aware we’ve got to go again and get a win again next week.”