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Mark Bowen Frustrated After ‘Dominant’ Derby Display

The gaffer took the positives from Reading’s performance, despite another frustrating result post-lockdown.

Derby County v Reading - Sky Bet Championship - Pride Park Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images

Mark Bowen felt that we dominated the second half at Pride Park on Saturday afternoon after a 2-1 defeat against Derby County.

Derby were the stronger in the first half, although George Puscas should have put us in front but missed a good chance. Derby then capitalised through a good goal Tom Lawrence and then a Wayne Rooney penalty to put them 2-0 up at half time.

The Royals came out the stronger in the second half and got a goal back through Andy Rinomhota but it wasn’t to be as the Royals left Derbyshire pointless. Matt Miagza will miss Tuesday’s game against Brentford after he was sent off after the game following a clash with Lawrence.

Bowen felt we should have come away with something from the game. He spoke to the official club website and Berkshire Live.

Bowen on the performance

“In the first half we probably conceded too much space to them. We had a game plan to keep things tight and keep the shape of the team compact, and then break off them which we have done in the past away from home.

“Then in the second half our plan was to play with more drive, take a few more risks and go on and get an away result.

“In the first half we conceded some ground, but we had three or four really good chances to score in that first half - but those last few minutes leading into half time, we gave ourselves a mountain to climb.

“We came out second half and we totally dominated the game.

“I was looking at their bench and Phillip Cocu and thinking they must be pinching themselves wondering how they are in front in the game, how we have come to their backyard and our goalkeeper hasn’t had a shot to save in the second half.

“But we’ve come away with nothing again. It’s frustrating.”

Bowen on the first two games back

“In my humble opinion, we have been the best team in both games we have played - at home to Stoke City and here at Derby. And yet we’ve got one point. It’s not what you want - you want to win games and put points on the board.

“But I’m not going to beat the team up for their performance today. Because as I say, I thought we were the better team for large, large parts of the game.”

Bowen on the two red cards

“Matt has obviously reacted - I’ve been told he was headbutted and then he swung an arm and caught the fella.

“You can’t argue with it - it’s two red cards but when someone does that or puts a head into you then you shouldn’t do it but he’s cost his team and his teammates. He was reacting to something in his face but it was two red cards and no complaints.”

Bowen on his frustration about the timing of the incident

“We’ve got games coming thick and fast and it means he could get a three-match ban. You have to be more disciplined than that but until I see what happened I can’t really comment. It was a disappointing end to a frustrating afternoon.”

Bowen on Brentford and freshening things up

“We’ll have a look at how players recover - Olise and Ejaria both went off with cramp so the players are still getting up to speed. But we’ll see how we can freshen things up.

“Like every Reading fan out there I just feel really frustrated - we should have been sitting on three points after Stoke and then to come to Derby, it’s just those final details. We won’t give up pushing, trying to win games and earn points that will push us up the table.

“We’re being punished harshly for our mistakes right now. But we’ll shrug it off, be in tomorrow morning and apply ourselves looking to prepare ourselves for the Brentford game on Tuesday night.

“I’ll still say this and people will think I’m losing my sanity but I know the players I’ve got are very talented. And if we get things right then let’s see where we are coming out of Tuesday’s game and see where we go from there.”