No surprise for Luton boss that Reading have picked up under 'elite worker' Bowen

Luton chief Graeme Jones
Luton chief Graeme Jones

Town chief Graeme Jones isn’t surprised that Reading have picked up under the stewardship of his former team-mate Mark Bowen.

The pair were at Wigan together during the 1999-2000 season, as they played a handful of times in the Latics’ Division Two campaign.

Like Jones, Bowen went on to become assistant manager at a host of clubs, working as number two to Mark Hughes at Wales, Fulham, Stoke and Southampton to name just four.

He was promoted to the top job with the Royals just last month, after previous boss Jose Gomes was sacked, leading the team to two wins a draw from his opening three games.

Jones said: “I know Taff really well, I played with Taff at Wigan, and did my A License with him in 1999.

“I came up against Mark so many times and Eddie Niedzwiecki, when they were at Stoke and Manchester City, when we were at Wigan.

“So we know their staff really well, they’re Premier League staff, Premier League educations, so it’s not going to be easy.

“They are elite workers and that’s why they’ve had the response they’ve had, so I’m looking forward to the game.”

Although Reading had struggled this season prior to Bowen’s appointment, Jones knows they have some impressive players at their disposal, including big money signing Sam Baldock, who is now back in the first team picture once more.

He continued: “(George) Puscas plays alongside him, they play 3-4-1-2 and it’s been successful for them.

“I’ve watched them against Queens Park Rangers, I’ve watched them against Millwall, they are a very, very capable outfit.

“They’ve got really good individuals, and we need to be at our best in every game, that’s just a standard requirement for us to compete at this level.

“I think by and large we’ve done that over the season, but as I said to you two or three weeks ago, competing’s not enough, we need to get some points on the board, however that may come and that’s the target for the weekend.

“Every game’s a new opportunity to win three points and Reading’s the next one.

"My conscience is clear, we’ve given everything we can to achieving wins so far and that’s not going to change between now and Saturday.”

Despite going into the game on a run of three straight defeats, the Town travelling faithful will pack the Madejski Stadium once more this afternoon, on a ground Luton haven’t won at since August 1999.

The club confirmed their allocation of 2,219 was sold our earlier in the week, as Jones added: “The Luton fans have been brilliant from the word go.

“I said to you at Fulham that the Luton fans were happy with the way we played, but I want to give them more than a 3-2 defeat and I want to do the same at the weekend.

“I’m not in control of results, I’m in control of performances and if we get the performances right, we’ll get the results.

“The next one’s Reading, so we’ll go there the same as any other game, trying to win it.”