Here are all of the key quotes from Mark Bowen's pre-match press conference ahead of Reading vs Birmingham City this weekend.


Ovie Ejaria: "The main one from the weekend was Ovie. He had a gastro bug, we knew it would be two or three days.

"He's now fit and well and seeing him train this morning he seems strong and raring to go."

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Sam Baldock: "He had his first training session at what I would call 100 per cent today.

"He's in my thoughts for the weekend but at the same time we'll make sure that with the number of games coming up he is exactly that, 100 per cent."

Tom Mcintyre: "He's back in training and again he is in my thoughts for the future. He'll probably play for the U23s at the weekend to get some game time."

Lucas Joao: "He came on last Saturday and did well, so he is in my thoughts for the weekend."

Jordan Obita: "He wasn't involved last Saturday ebcause he'd had two or three training sessions but I wanted him to have a full week coming into it. 

"That's been a little bit curtailed this week because he's had a bit of the stomach bug but I expect him to be in training tomorrow so we'll judge how he feels from there."

READ MORE: Omar Richards previews visit of Birmingham City

On Birmingham City

"I know the club well. I spent a few years there a while back and I know the demands that are put on the team by the crowd because they expect them to perform and give their all in every game.

"It's always a difficult game to play, they certainly have the threats."

4-4-2 or 5-3-2?

"I'm not stuck with any certain formation. For me, you look at the opposition and now you can hurt them best.

"I suppose everyone has a 'default' position that they start off at.

"Never mind the last 20 miunutes, I wouldn't be put pit changing it after 15 or 20 minutes if I thought it warranted it and it would make a difference to us."

Vito Mannone

"I understand he is a very good kepeer. He got goalkeeper of the year in the MLS last year, so there is no doubt they would want him back because he is obviously settled well there.

"It's difficult for us as a club for him to come back here, and justify having dare I say a number two keeper who is on the contract that he is on.

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"It's difficult for any club, especially a Championship club, to be carrying two keepers who are in effect number ones and want to be number ones.

"I'm not saying it cannot be managed from a footballing point of view as a manager, but purely from a financial point of view."