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Mark Bowen Angry After Birmingham Defeat

The manager didn’t hold back in his post-match assessment.

Reading v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship - Madejski Stadium Photo by Bradley Collyer/PA Images via Getty Images

Mark Bowen admitted after the game that it was the most disappointment Reading performance since he has taken over as manager after the Royals lost to Birmingham City at the Madejski Stadium.

Reading never really seemed in it, and that didn’t help when Michael Morrison scored an own goal to put his former side ahead. Yakou Meite scored minutes later to equalise before the break. Birmingham came out the much better side in the second half and fully deserved their win, although Lucas Joao scored in the final minutes of the game.

Bowen ended up being an angry man on his birthday - here is what he told the official club website and GetReading after the game,

Bowen on the game

“I’m angry and disappointed with the players and the performance... because I know we’re better than that. We’re missing two of our quality ball players in the team, in Ovie Ejaria and John Swift, so others have to stand up and be brave on the ball and patient in possession and in the passes they make.

“We huffed and puffed, but never got any fluidity in our play, never really strung passes together... the effort and desire was there but in terms of the quality on the ball - that was missing.

”We were too reactive as a side, when I want them to be proactive, reading where the ball is going to be played or drop and getting on the front foot. But we weren’t today and we didn’t deserve anything from the game.

”You can get away with two or three players not being at the top of their game, but today it was more like seven, eight, nine, ten players. Maybe some of them thought we could just turn up at home and it would happen today. But you’ve got to make it happen. And today it didn’t.

“Today there were too many poor passes, too many times we lost possession - and that all snowballs into a poor performance.”

Bowen on the formation change at half time

“I don’t regret making it. I did it last week and we scored three goals. If I did it again I’d expect a different result to happen. You’re at home and you’re trying to effect the game.

“We were lucky to be 1-1 at half time so I tried to effect the game and be more progressive going forward but if you’re going to do that you have to retain the ball in those areas.”

Bowen on conceding three goals

“Looking back at them, one was a deflected goal, the second is a well executed free-kick and you don’t expect him to score from that distance and the third was created by us. Two or three people poor in possession and giving it away in the wrong areas so all goals could have been avoided.”

Bowen on being angry at full time

“Angry and disappointed because my players are better than that. We have to get consistency in our form.

“In the eight games I have been here I have had that and it wasn’t a step to far, but there are not many games where I have come in and been really disappointed. Today I was. But we’ll work on it and I expect a reaction at Barnsley.”

Bowen on Ejaria and Baldock being back for Wednesday

“I certainly hope so. He had an issue with his groin. If it’s an inflammation situation it should settle down. Baldock should also be available. He is pain free but it was a massive risk to throw him in.”

Bowen on the referee’s display

“I think he was a little bit erratic, some of the decisions I did not quite understand where he got them from in terms of the consistency. He punished us for certain situations that I saw happening but then on the other foot minutes later nothing happened.

“It is no excuse at all. You can never blame a ref for a result like today, it was our making.”

Bowen on Charlie Adam’s impact

“Charlie came on and looked like he was the only one on the pitch who could pick a pass. I don’t see that as a positive, it’s a negative because he shouldn’t be the only player we give the ball to who can pick a pass.”

Bowen on Barnsley on Wednesday

“I won’t rest easy tonight. And I’ll be counting down the days until Wednesday and our chance to put it right. We travel up on Tuesday and then we will stay in the Midlands ahead of a trip to Stoke next weekend. But first, I expect a reaction from the players on Wednesday.”