Mark Bowen was pleased with his sides 'guts and determination' to turnaround a deficit against Birmingham City
(Photo by Nur Photo via Getty Images

Reading boss Mark Bowen was delighted with his sides 'guts and determination' to win 3-1 at Birmingham City.

Second half goals from Matt Miazga, Yakou Meite and Pele saw the Royals run out victorious in the Midlands despite a poor first half performance.

After the game, Bowen was pleased to see the fighting spirit in the squad based on the second half showing from Saint Andrews.

He said: "The first half was maybe a hangover from Tuesday. We say all the right things about needing to star fast but we were nowhere near it.

"Not just the goal - that sets you back - but we just weren't there. We talked about what we needed to try and do in the second half.”

Bowen was aware that getting the next goal in the game was crucial:

"If we got the next goal we knew we'd back in it. I felt as soon as we got that from Matt - and it was a great finish - I felt we would go on and win the game.

"You could see the players growing in confidence and that result was built on heart, guts and determination after the week we've had with extra time - I was delighted with the shift they put in.

"I was delighted with the third goal because in my mind it was game won. We're still in there fighting and let's see where we can go."

Half-time masterclass from Bowen

Reading were fortunate to go in only 1-0 down at half-time.

But without the special half-time team talk that Bowen delivered, the Royals would have most likely  gone on to lose that game two to three nil. 

So what did Bowen tell the team at half-time? 

"It was simple messages - we weren't doing the right things. Special mention to Michael Olise who was the one player in the first half who wanted the ball and wanted to play.

"We were sloppy at times with all those little things that can make a difference. I didn't think we were fantastic in the second half and in the last 10 minutes if our passing was right we could have had three or four more.

"It was about character, getting the goals and getting over the winning line."

Super Matt Miazga 

The USA international had a mixed game on the whole. His mistake coupled with the miscommunication with Michael Morrison and Rafael Cabral led to Scott Hogan netting the first goal of the game for Birmingham.

But his equaliser to make it 1-1 was special and definitely outweighed the mistake he made in the first half.

This was how Bowen viewed his performance.

He said: "I don't think he did a lot wrong - he probably didn't put enough power on the header; it was more about Hogan being clever.

"He's been out for six weeks and to think the performances he has put in over the three games - full credit to him.

"He has scored two goals under me now - there's nothing wrong with his technique when he gets in those areas."

Other themes discussed in post match press conference