Reading appointed Mark Bowen as their new manager yesterday, after Jose Manuel Gomes’ departure last week. Today Bowen spoke to the press for the first time as manager of Reading.
The visit of Preston on Saturday will be Mark Bowen’s maiden experience as a first-team manager.
He’s previously served as number two to Mark Hughes at the likes of Manchester City, Fulham, QPR, Stoke City and Southampton before becoming Reading’s Technical Consultant in March this year, and then Sporting Director in August.
He replaces Jose Manuel Gomes who managed just two wins in the Championship from the opening 11 games, the last being in August with Reading losing six of their last seven in all competitions.
Bowen spoke to the press today in what was a highly anticipated conference, and spoke about his appointment, and Gomes’ departure:
“I’m excited, but a little nervous!” Said Bowen, when asked how he was feeling about starting his new job. “I’ve been brought in as sporting director and was really enjoying it.”
Reading fans have speculated that Bowen was himself, involved in the sacking of Gomes. When asked about this today, Bowen said:
“It can’t be further from the truth… I got a phone call over the weekend saying the owners wanted to change manager. That (Gomes’ sacking) wasn’t my remit.
“I was told the decision had been made, and was then asked to draw up a list of candidates which I was doing.
“I had spoken to two or three candidates and then I got a call over the weekend saying the owners wanted as little as disruption as possible and it was put to me the least intrusive way of doing things.
“I was stunned to be offered the job. The owners asked me and I thought yes absolutely.”
Reading fans have made their dismay at Bowen’s appointment apparent, and it’s unlikely that they’ll believe Bowen when he says that he had nothing to do with Gomes leaving the club.
But Bowen seems keen to begin his career in first-team management and will have the added advantage of already knowing the squad from his time as Sporting Director.
The visit of Preston at the weekend will be a tall order for Bowen’s boys, who need to get some points on the board to drag themselves out of the drop zone.