Wigan Athletic made it 'difficult' for us, admits Reading chief

Charlie Mulgrew and Sam Morsy can't believe the incredible turnaround
Charlie Mulgrew and Sam Morsy can't believe the incredible turnaround

Reading boss Mark Bowen admitted he would have settled for a point for most of Saturday's game at Wigan Athletic given the 'difficult' nature of the assignment.

As it was, the Royals went home with all three points after a sensational five-minute hat-trick from striker George Puscas deep inside the final quarter turned the game on its head.

Latics had led at the break through Joe Garner's first goal of the season on 34 minutes.

But a controversial penalty award on 78 minutes - for handball against Chey Dunkley - proved to be the game-changer.

Puscas smashed home the spot-kick, before scoring twice more while the shell-shocked Latics defence were struggling to comprehend what was happening.

All of which led to a section of the home support venting their anger at boss Paul Cook - and Bowen reflecting on getting out of jail.

“I went in at half-time and I wasn’t happy at all – I was quite angry,” acknowledged Bowen.

“We had a fair amount of possession in the first half, but our real quality on the ball was missing.

“I said to them: ‘We’ve got to be braver on the ball, more confident on the ball’.

“We talked about going to a 4-4-2 and try to get more bodies into that area.

"We stuck with the system for the start of the second half, but when we changed it, it worked for us.

"We need to maintain that endeavour and grittiness about us, but get that quality in the final third.

“I knew these boys would be driving to the end. We have had a tough week – Brentford, Leeds and then coming here to Wigan.

“So to finish on that note, with that last 15 minutes, it shows we are in a good place.

“It’s games like today, when you’re behind, that you have to show those qualities and try to get something out of every game.

“At a goal down, I might have taken a point. But the spirit of my players shines through every day for me.

“Any away trip is difficult, and this place is no different with the way they go about their business.

"So it’s great for the players to get the rewards for the work they put in.”