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Mark Bowen On Reading’s Missing Quality Against Huddersfield

The gaffer unpacks a goalless draw at the Mad Stad which, in truth, was one for the purists.

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

From a 5-0 victory on Saturday, to a rather boring 0-0 draw against Huddersfield Town at the Madejski. This week really has had it all! There’s not really too much to report from the game: a clean sheet, which is always a positive, two shots on target for the Royals and 31% possession.

Reading go above QPR into 13th in the Championship table, with Huddersfield moving to three points away from the danger zone. Mark Bowen was disappointed after the lacklustre display and felt we lacked quality where it mattered, he spoke to the official club website and GetReading after the game.

Bowen on the performance

“We were a little bit stale and lacked quality in the final third. They had opportunities as well but time and time again, looking at ours and going into the last 15 minutes of the game, there was some erratic play in those areas. We didn’t really do enough quality wise in the final third to turn a point into three points.”

Bowen on poor form at the Madejski

“Sometimes a club have those seasons where they are better away so it’s something we’ve got to be mindful of. You want to get that fortress in your own backyard.

“Going into today’s game on the back of the 5-0 which could have been seven or eight, I always felt going into the game it would be a little bit of a lethargic start. It’s a bit of a hangover from Saturday but I just had this feeling when we did get into those areas we were either sloppy in possession or made the wrong pass and it ended in a turnover in play.”

Bowen on replacing Ejaria with Obita

“Looking back we missed Ovie and his ability to create something. You always miss a player of his quality. Every time Obita has come on or started on the left side his delivery into the box has been outstanding in terms of creating chances and scoring.

“If it’s a character comparison between him and McCleary or Boye, Obita’s assists show he is far better than them anyway. Boye came on with 15 minutes to go and made a little difference and McCleary has come on in every game so far.

“You’re just trying to find the right combinations at the right times in the game. Puscas was a bit flat tonight and I put Meite into the striker role but he didn’t get set up with any real quality.”

Bowen on Osho and McIntyre

“Osho did well - he was feeling cramp in the second half. McIntyre was outstanding - I thought him and Morrison were our best players. We just have to make sure he stays fit and gets stronger every time he plays because in the two games he has played he hasn’t put a foot wrong.”

Bowen on Osho as a Right Back?

“He’s got the capability to play there - he is comfortable on the ball and willing to get forward in the attack and overlap where necessary. Ultimately he’s a defender and he does well in those areas and I would expect him, with more experience, to settle in that position or cover as a centre-half as well.”

Bowen on looking ahead to next season

“The mental feeling going into the three or four week period before the next season starts is important. If you finish in the top half of the table, you think ‘we’re a decent enough side, there’s something to build on.

“You don’t want to be going into that short off season period with it all flat having not picked up points and with question marks around us. If you win a few games and you’ve done well at the end of one season, you almost can’t wait for the next season to start. That’s what we are playing for.”