The new manager bounce

Andy Munro is happier after watching Blues beat Reading.

The much vaunted new manager bounce was in evidence as Blues surprisingly defeated a very talented Reading side unbeaten in four and challenging for promotion. They even had the luxury of the prolific George Puskas on the bench.

Lee Bowyer only made two changes but went back to the no-nonsense tried and tested 4-4-2. So with just two changes and only 24 hours to instil his influence it looked a massive ask to galvanise the team that looked so demoralised and bereft against Bristol City.

Yet the players responded, with the Juke a happy goalscorer once again and Harlee Dean getting man of the match only days after giving an interview which seemed to verge on the suicidal. Scott Hogan unselfishly ran his socks off whilst Alen Halilovic oozed class. Gary Gardner must have also been a candidate for man of the match although perhaps if I were to be a bit critical it would be that his midfield partner Rekeem Harper was again a bit wayward with his distribution. Between the sticks, Neil Etheridge was at fault for Reading’s equaliser as he flapped at the ball but redeemed himself with a couple of excellent saves.

Tellingly, in his after-match comments, Bowyer said that when you’ve got somebody like the Juke up front, why try and complicate things? And so say all of us! Overall, a good day at the office but it’s early days and nobody is getting carried away although it was great to see the return of the high press in Blues’ approach.