Mark Bowen has stated that Chris Gunter and Garath McCleary are going to be involved with the Reading first-team squad, having not been present in training since the end of last season.
Bowen took over at the Royals on Monday afternoon, and one of the first decisions that he’s had to make is to do with some of the Reading players who had been banished from first-team training.
The pair have been at the club since 2012, but fell out of favour at the Royals as Jose Gomes looked to revamp the squad. This left Gunter and McCleary training with the under-23s with seemingly no way back for the duo.
However, Bowen has come into the club and has stated that they have a way back into the first-team under him as manager, which will have been a massive boost to the pair.
Quoted by GetReading, Bowen said: “Gunter and McCleary – yes they do have a way back.
“I want to give myself the best possible chance of succeeding so why would I not involve them?”
This is actually quite a big decision among Reading fans, and one that I’m sure many will disagree with. They were sent to train for the under-23s for a reason, and many of the supporters got behind that.
If they can help improve the mood around the club, then fair enough, but it will be tough to get supporters on side, and the only way they can do that is with performances.
It’s going to be really interesting to see how Bowen will line up in the first few weeks of management, and whether he can get this Reading side earning some points.