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Reading appoint sporting director Mark Bowen as new manager

Reading appoint sporting director Mark Bowen as new manager
© Reuters
The former Wales defender replaces the sacked Jose Gomes.

Reading have named Mark Bowen as their new manager.

The former Wales defender moves from his position as sporting director at the Madejski Stadium to replace Jose Gomes, who was sacked last week.

The Royals are third bottom of the Sky Bet Championship table, without a league win since the end of August.

Chief executive Nigel Howe is confident 55-year-old Bowen, who joined the club as a consultant towards the end of the 2018-19 campaign, can move the Royals forward.

"In the relatively short period of time that Mark has already spent at Reading Football Club, he has commanded respect and admiration from all who have worked alongside him," Howe said on the club's official website.

"He came in at a critical period last season to help us retain our Championship status and had an immediate impact.

"Mark has two decades of coaching background on his CV, has tasted promotion to the Premier League and spent most of his coaching career in top-flight football.

"He knows this club and the owner and the board believe he is very capable of getting the very best out of a talented group of first team players and achieving the results we all want."

Bowen won the 1984 UEFA Cup with first club Tottenham before joining Norwich three years later.  He spent almost a decade with the Canaries, helping them finish third in the first season of the Premier League and going on to play in the UEFA Cup.

The left-back also later had spells at West Ham and Charlton, as well as brief stints with Wigan, Reading and Japanese side Shimizu S-Pulse.

Bowen, who won 41 international caps, has never managed in a permanent capacity at senior level before but has regularly worked as an assistant to Mark Hughes, including with Wales, Manchester City, Stoke and Southampton.

Reading host Preston on Saturday.

Bowen said it had taken him "all of two minutes" to accept the club's offer and believes his previous experiences will stand him in good stead for the managerial challenges ahead.

"I can't wait to get on with things," he said in an interview with Reading club media.

"I was enjoying the role of sporting director, but I did miss being on the grass with the players.

"Trying to improve them as individuals and as a team has been a focus of my life for so long now.

"The one thing I do know is we have a group of players who work well together and want to do the right things – that is an ideal starting point."

Bowen added: "Every coach and manager has a different way of doing things and maybe a different voice can change the dynamics of the results – and that is what I will be aiming to do."

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1Norwich CityNorwich138321710727
2Bournemouth137512011926
3Bristol City127231611523
4Swansea CitySwansea12642147722
5Reading127141916322
6Stoke CityStoke136342118321
7Watford115421410419
8Luton TownLuton135441113-219
9Blackburn RoversBlackburn135352315818
10Brentford134631712518
11Middlesbrough1146195418
12Millwall12462119218
13Barnsley134541413117
14Queens Park RangersQPR134541518-317
15Preston North EndPreston135171615116
16Huddersfield TownHuddersfield144461517-216
17Birmingham CityBirmingham133641012-215
18Cardiff CityCardiff123541312114
19Rotherham UnitedRotherham133371216-412
20Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest13337915-612
21Wycombe WanderersWycombe14248619-1310
22Coventry CityCoventry122371223-119
23Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds12336611-56
24Derby CountyDerby12138517-126

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