MARK BOWEN has been announced as the new Reading manager after the Championship club sacked Jose Gomes.
The appointment marks Bowen’s first step into the hotseat on a permanent basis having spent much of his career as an assistant manager.
Most recently, the Welshman was Reading’s sporting director, a position he took up in the summer after a short spell as a consultant.
Bowen faces a big task of not only turning round a team stuck in 22nd in the table but also uniting the fans behind him.
Former boss Gomes was a popular figure at the Madejski Stadium but had lost his way in recent weeks, losing six of his last seven with the Royals conceding the first goal in each of their last eight outings.
Confirmed on Monday, five days after Gomes’ exit, Bowen was hailed as a “respected” figure across the club.
Chief executive Nigel Howe said: “In the relatively short period of time that Mark has already spent at Reading, he has commanded respect and admiration from all who have worked alongside him.
“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.”
Reading were initially linked with Mark Hughes once Gomes was sacked, the ex-Manchester City coach a long-time ally of Bowen’s.
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Former Wales and Norwich star Bowen, who ended his playing career at Reading, had been assistant to Hughes at Blackburn, City, Fulham, QPR, Stoke and Southampton.
Before that, he had worked with Steve Bruce at Crystal Palace and Birmingham.
Another common member of Hughes’ backroom staff, Eddie Niedzwiecki, has joined the Royals as assistant manager having once taken caretaker charge of the Royals in 1991.
This post written by Marc Mayo originally appeared on Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun. Read the full post here.