Mark Bowen Signs New Reading Contract
As a former player, Mark Bowen knows a lot about Reading. It was while he was there that he got his first coaching role in 2002, as a member of the coaching staff for his native Welsh national side. Following this, he had stints in various coaching roles at teams like Manchester City and Crystal Palace. He has followed Mark Hughes for much of his coaching career, and this even extended into his role at Southampton. He left St Mary’s following Hughes’ dismissal in December 2018. It did not, however, take him to find a new job.
History With Reading
Bowen signed for Reading as a technical consultant on 27th March 2019. Having impressed in that position, he was announced as their sporting director in August of that year, and he got one final promotion to manager on 14th October following a dismal start to the season for the Royals.
Incredible Immediate Impact
At the time of Bowen’s appointment, Reading had only won two of their opening 12 league fixtures and this hit them hard, being 22nd in the table when Bowen was appointed. He immediately turned the team around. Reading’s first game under Bowen was against then third place Preston North End. The Royals, despite the odds being stacked against them, came out on top in that game.
They were unbeaten in their first four games under the Welshman, and after three losses in their next four games against mostly tough opposition, the Berkshire side got back to their winning ways. Since a hard-to-swallow 3-2 home defeat to Birmingham City, they have not lost a game. This particularly successful festive period sees them just five points off the playoff palaces. One particularly impressive game was their most recent. Then fourth place Nottingham Forest came to the Madejski Stadium with high hopes as they had won their last three matches, however, they were wary of Reading’s even better form. The game looked to be heading towards a goalless draw until the 96th minute when Forest captain Ben Watson scored. Reading didn’t let their heads drop, though, and a goal just one minute later saw them grab a point which could prove vital in this incredible close Championship season.
What This Means for the Rest of the Season
In such a tight-fought campaign, any sort of boost can go a long way. With many upcoming games being against some of their playoff place rivals, the knowledge that so far successful manager Mark Bowen has signed a deal extending his contract until at least the end of next season may provide the necessary boost to lift the players to a good performance. Continuing their good form into their next few games is so crucial for Reading as they stand a real chance of reaching the playoff places. Mark Bowen’s signing a new contract may just help them achieve that goal.