News and Views

Mark Bowen Set To Be Named Manager

14 October 2019
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Mark Bowen is expected to be named as the new Reading first team manager, to replace Jose Gomes who was sacked last week. Bowen has been at Reading since March of this year, arriving as a consultant before becoming "sporting director" in August 2019. Bowen was expected to be in charge of finding a new manager for the club but instead will now become manager himself.

It is being widely reported that Bowen agreed terms with the club last night to become the new boss. It an appointment that seems underwhelming, particually as he follows on from a manager that fans thought capable of turning the fortunes of the club around, before having his contract cut dramatically short. Bowen has a tough act to follow and will do well to remain long-term manager given the recent managerial history at Reading FC.

Bowen will take control with his team already in the bottom three of the Championship. Although fans had high hopes at the start of the season, Bowen will now been seen as a success if he can simply prevent Reading from dropping into League One. Expectations have dramatically changed at the club since Gomes led the Royals into the top half of the table less than two months ago.

Bowen's signed a temporary playing contract with Reading in 1999 after a long playing career that included spells at Spurs, Norwich, West Ham United and Charlton before arriving at Reading. He made a single appearance for the Royals in the first round of the Auto Windscreens Shield, playing 90 minutes as the Royals beat Leyton Orient 1-0 in front of 1,561 fans at the Madejski Stadium. He never played for the Royals again and instead hung up his boots to become assistant manager of Wales under Mark Hughes. Most of Bowen's coaching career has involved following Hughes as assistant manager.

Apart from a brief spell as caretaker manager at QPR, Bowen has been assistant manager almost non-stop since taking the role with Wales. He was reserve manager at Crystal Palace before spells at Birmingham City, Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City, Fulham, QPR, Stoke and Southampton before arriving at Reading earlier this year.

Bowen is expected to bring former Reading coach Eddie Niedzwiecki back to the club to become his assistant. Former Chelsea goalkeeeper Niedzwiecki was caretaker manager of Reading for nearly a month in April 1991 after the departure of Ian Porterfield.

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