Mowbray Praises Selfish Emnes and Looks Forward to Intensity at Leeds
By Robert Nichols
Friday 12 Aug 2011 15:40:00
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Tony Mowbray was pleased to talk in glowing terms about Tuesday’s 3-0 win at Walsall. He was not getting carried away though looking forward to two testing trips into West Yorkshire. First things first, can we defeat one of our oldest rivals in Leeds United on Saturday?

 

Fly: You threw down the gauntlet to Marvin Emnes before the Walsall game. You said that one of our problems in avoiding a potential banana skin repeat of Burton would be our lack of a recognised goalscorer. Marvin certainly responded when you asked him to step up in Scott McDonald’s absence did he not?

TM: He did. I think he stepped up to the mark well. Even in training I’m trying to get him to be a bit more selfish. It won’t be a lack of talent that stops Marvin scoring goals. It’s sometimes what flashes in your mind as you get half a yard on the edge of the box, to shoot or pick a pass. Hopefully we are trying to turn Marvin into a goalscorer who thinks only of the goalposts. When he gets half a yard he shoots.

 

Fly: So it is good that he picked up the ball and took the penalty then?

TM: I think so. I’ve seen him miss a few today in training (laughter). I think good for Marvin and good for the club if he can keep adding goals. I’m pretty sure that Scott McDonald will score his fair share. If I was a gambling man and I’m not, I would say that Scott would be our top scorer this year. Let’s hope that Marvin gets TEN in the next three or four weeks and Scott has a real target to go and chase.

 

It’s almost ironic really, watching Scott McDonald play last night for Australia I thought how good he was technically, finding the space and playing and linking and joining with Cahill and how he is developing as a footballer rather than just a goalscorer. He has built his career really on scoring goals, Scott but I think he is really looking like a good footballer now and vice versa with Marvin who is undoubtedly a good footballer, he is starting to add goals to his game. So hopefully we have two good footballers who score goals playing up front.

 

Fly: There were a lot of real positives to take from the Walsall game, for instance Justin Hoyte switched flanks from Saturday and provided an excellent centre for Emnes second goal.

TM: Yes. Listen I don’t need to eulogise about a Justin. You know he is a top player, he came from Arsenal and cost us £3m. I expect him to put good balls in the box and expect him to use his quality. We just need to keep him fit really as he is an important part of the squad as we move on.

 

There were a lot of positives really; to see McMahon again like he did at Cardiff to play at the back like he did was very reassuring. Richie looked like he had never been away in midfield. Nicky Bailey continues to grow every game. So there were plenty of good performances.

 

Fly: And good to be able to take off a couple of players in Emnes and Bailey with the weekend’s game at Leeds approaching.

TM: Yes, I think so. It is intense. Until the next internationals it is every midweek for a month. It is not easy to keep going and keep playing and also train. So we’ve got to try and keep them fit and be conscious of when to train them and when to rest them.

 

Fly: Now to Saturday’s game at Elland Road. When you were a young player at Boro I remember the Leeds game often being the biggest game of the season. It was very intense and often a red card, especially for a Boro player.

TM: Yes. It would be interesting to go back, was it so many years on the bounce or was there a missed year somewhere along the line but it felt as if there was someone sent off in that fixture at Elland Road every year for at least four or five years? Because of the intensity of it. And it is still intense and there will still be a big Boro following there and there will still be a big atmosphere in the stadium. But maybe twenty years it was possibly even bigger, maybe.

Let’s hope it is a good atmosphere and obviously a good game. And for the Boro fans that have spent hard earned money paying the prices they have to pay for tickets, that they get a good performance.

 

Fly: A good test so early in the season?

TM: Yes and I think there a few good tests, Birmingham is coming at home down the line. I think the next two games are a big test for us, away at Leeds and away at Barnsley. Barnsley is not an easy ground for anyone to go to and probably hasn’t been very successful for Boro over the last few years either. Let’s hope we can come through it unscathed and keep our unbeaten run going.



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