Reading FC should rival Blackpool for title-winning 51-year-old manager: Opinion | OneFootball

Reading FC should rival Blackpool for title-winning 51-year-old manager: Opinion | OneFootball

Icon: Football League World

Football League World

·10 May 2023

Reading FC should rival Blackpool for title-winning 51-year-old manager: Opinion

Article image:Reading FC should rival Blackpool for title-winning 51-year-old manager: Opinion

Reading are on the hunt for a new manager as they begin preparations for life in League One.

The Royals have been without a manager since the sacking of Paul Ince last month, with interim boss Noel Hunt unable to prevent their relegation from the Championship after picking up just three draws from his five games in charge.

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Journalist Alan Nixon claims that Chris Wilder is a contender for the vacancy at the Select Car Leasing Stadium, with the 55-year-old expected to depart Watford at the end of his short-term contract this summer.

But it is uncertain whether Wilder would be willing to drop down to the third tier and there would be question marks after his disappointing spells with the Hornets and Middlesbrough, so the Royals would be sensible to consider alternatives.

One name that should be on their list of targets is Gary Bowyer, who has just left Dundee after leading them to the Scottish Championship title.

Nixon reports that Bowyer is a candidate for the Blackpool job in a move which would see him return for a second spell at Bloomfield Road having managed the club between 2016 and 2018, but the Royals should rival the Seasiders for Bowyer's signature.

Bowyer won 26 and drew 14 of his 48 games in charge of Dundee as they secured an instant Scottish Premiership return, which was the 51-year-old's second promotion as a manager.

Bowyer has done a solid job in each of the managerial posts he has held, but perhaps what makes him most suitable for Reading is his experience of achieving success in difficult conditions.

Two points deductions in as many seasons has raised serious questions about the club's ownership, but Bowyer is experienced at navigating clubs through turbulent times.

He stabilised Blackburn Rovers during his two-and-a-half year stint in charge at Ewood Park, restoring calm to the club during the chaotic early stages of the Venky's ownership which saw Steve Kean, Henning Berg and Michael Appleton dismissed in quick succession.

Bowyer's next job was arguably even more challenging, inheriting a Blackpool side in League Two after back-to-back relegations under the deeply unpopular Oyston regime, but he turned around their fortunes, leading them to promotion from the fourth tier through the play-offs in his first season before guiding them to a 12th-placed finish in League One the following year.

It is that experience of working in adversity which would make Bowyer the perfect fit for Reading and he has the credentials to rebuild the squad and deliver results even if he is restricted in the market.

Bowyer has had disappointments during his managerial career at Bradford City and Salford City, although he was harshly treated at both clubs having been sacked by the Bantams when sitting eighth in the League Two table and being dismissed by the Ammies after narrowly missing out on the play-offs.

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