Former Rovers assistant boss Mark Bowen has been handed his first managerial role with Championship side Reading.

Bowen steps up from his position as Sporting Director to replace Jose Gomes who was sacked last week.

The Welshman spent almost four years at Rovers working under Mark Hughes who had been the early favourite for the role. The pair helped lead Rovers to European qualifiers as well as three domestic cup semi-finals.

Bowen was appointed to his previous position at Reading in August and worked alongside Hughes at Rovers as well Manchester City, Fulham, QPR, Stoke City and Southampton.

His appointment as first-team boss comes after the Royals took the decision to sack Portuguese boss Gomes 11 games in to the season.

He helped lead the side to safety last season, after taking over in December 2018 following a spell with Rio Ave, but the Royals currently find themselves third bottom of the Championship.

They have won just one point from their last seven matches which included defeat to Rovers last month and entertain Preston this weekend. 

Bowen was brought in as a consultant at Reading towards the end of the 2018/19 campaign before being appointed as Sporting Director this summer.

Reading’s Chief Executive Nigel Howe said of Bowen: “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.”