Reading manager Mark Bowen says he didn't appoint himself
By Adam Goodwin
Last Updated: 15/10/19 3:08pm
Mark Bowen has insisted he did not appoint himself as Reading manager, despite stepping down as sporting director at the club to take the position.
The Royals sacked former boss Jose Gomes last week after a run of five losses in their last six games, which has left them in the Championship relegation zone, and there were claims that Bowen had some involvement in that decision.
However, Bowen has stressed he did not have a say on the dismissal or the appointment of himself, and has now relinquished his sporting director duties as he focuses on his first managerial job.
He said: "I've been a player and a coach for 40 years and I saw my reputation getting burned away in a matter of minutes!
"I was the sporting director. I had no say whatsoever in Jose Gomes' dismissal.
"I was informed by the board eight days ago that the decision had been made and to get on with the process of identifying managerial candidates, which I proceeded to.
"As the week went on, I spoke to two or three of them [candidates] and was going through that process.
"It got to the weekend and I got a phone call from the owner saying that he had had a think about things and wanted to know if I could take on the job. I didn't think twice.
"I know the club and I know the players. I think we're in a false position. It took me two seconds to say yes.
"We're third from bottom at the moment but I believe that we've got a squad here, even now, that are fully capable of pushing for the play-offs."
Reading have no imminent plans to replace Bowen as sporting director, but have not ruled out the possibility of bringing someone in in the future.
Bowen does, however, believe that having a sporting director is important in modern-day football, so he would be keen for the Royals to appoint one to work alongside him.
The Welshman has accumulated 20 years of coaching experience at the likes of Blackburn, Fulham and Manchester City, frequently working with Mark Hughes throughout his career.
But the 55-year-old has hit back at claims he does not have the capabilities to take the job, despite his lack of experience as a manager.
"I don't buy into the fact that people say it's a gamble because I've never been a number one before. Any managerial change in any club and any league is a gamble," Bowen said.
"In terms of never being a number one, in the Championship at the moment, eight clubs have managers in their first tenure as a manager. By the way, all of those eight are above Reading in the table at the moment!
"For me, it's about how you deal with players, motivate players, prepare them, and I've been doing that for the last 20 years. I've got over 500 games in the Premier League doing it."
Bowen's first game is at home to Preston on Saturday, before Reading travel to face QPR, live on Sky Sports next week.