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Mark Bowen On Bees Loss: Reading Didn’t Lay A Glove On Brentford

The gaffer unpacks what went wrong against Brentford and hints at changes for Luton.

Reading v Brentford - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

The Royals simply weren’t in contention against Brentford after a poor 3-0 victory at the Madejski Stadium. While Brentford’s promotion push continues, Reading’s play-off dreams are completely over, and they may want to keep an eye on what is going on behind them.

Reading just had five shots during the 90 minutes, one of which was one target, compared to Brentford’s 19 with nine on target, which completely shows the Bees’ dominance.

Here is what Mark Bowen had to say after the game; he spoke to GetReading.

Bowen on the defeat

“I have to choose my words carefully - I thought in every department Brentford were stronger than us, they were quicker, brighter and had more of a footballing intelligence on the ball.

“This culminated in us not really laying a glove on them all night. Brentford came on the back of two fantastic results, they were in the ascendancy and full of confidence. The first goal was always going to be important and Brentford took that confidence into the game.

“Any team or individuals who play with a desire look a yard quicker and are a yard quicker. They react a few seconds quicker as well. It was like that all night. Right from the off they looked brighter in everything they did.

“We’d had a difficult start back against Stoke where we thought we had three points in the bag and got caught at the finishing line. Then at Derby we were the better side but lost. Clearly we were lacking a bit of confidence and that showed throughout the game.”

Bowen on making changes ahead of Luton

“We’ll look at personnel and how to freshen things up. It’s about getting back on the training ground and doing the things we are good at and being more focused. All the things you need to do to get a performance out of a side.

“In three games we’ve got one point and that’s the bottom line. But we’ve had two good performances - it was only tonight where Brentford were and are a better side than us.”

Bowen on expecting more from the players

“I did expect more from them. You expect them to go and put a performance in. We started okay and tried to move the ball quickly but in doing that a few players misplaced a pass and their confidence went on the back of that.

“Then we stopped wanting to do the things we had in our game plan. I changed it to a 4-4-2 to try and get the ball forward quicker but the ball into the forwards wasn’t great either. We were always chasing our form through the game.”

Bowen on a lack of fight and desire

“I understand the fans’ frustrations. We have to address it and make sure we’re prepared for Luton who are fighting for their lives on Saturday.”

Bowen on Omar Richards’ absence

“He was rested so Obita came into the side and I was looking for him to get forward and overlap Ejaria and get crosses in. But we didn’t exploit that because we didn’t control the midfield as much as we wanted to.

“When you have Swift, Olise and Ejaria I expect us to control possession more there - I wouldn’t mention Rinomhota because I thought he was fabulous on the night. He covered every blade of grass and showed great character in the game. If anybody out of our side can come out of it and think they can hold their head up it’s him.”

Bowen on bouncing back

“We have got to - and I’ve said it before, when we’ve had poor games they usually do but I have to get the preparation and selection right as well and make sure the players have a desire and attitude to get three points for the club.”

Bowen on extending loan players’ deals

“As far as I am aware the five are signed up. Last two we were waiting on were Pele and Ejaria and they both signed up.”

Bowen on having options

“We’ll have a good look and make sure we get a reaction from tonight on Saturday.”

Bowen on putting demands on players

“We weren’t in the game at all. When I took over I said about putting demands on the players. When Jose Gomes was here I was looking from a distance and one thing that stuck in my mind was the players themselves, never mind the manager, didn’t put many demands on themselves and each other.

“At times you think you’ve cured it but it’s about the consistency and I’ll continue to say it. The players didn’t do that again tonight.”