Mowbray Looks Towards Leicester and the Promised Land
By Rob Nichols
Wednesday 28 Sep 2011 15:36:00
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It is another massive game tonight. The sun is shining and September is imitating June can Boro put the heat on Leicester City? Kick off 7.45pm at the Riverside.

At yesterdays' pre-match press conference Boro boss Tony Mowbray was licking in lips in anticipation before tonight's game, one he ranks as potentially even more difficult than Saturday's draw with Ipswich. But he does not go into the game with fear. He believes the corner will be turned any time now as far as dropping points at home is concerned and tonight could well be that night.

Q: Looking back to the weekend. Was it a point dropped or a point gained?

TM: On the balance play I think we all felt it was a decent point. I think Ipswich will give a lot of teams problems. They seem to have overcome their early season defensive problems. I think they conceded 12 goals in 2 games to Peterborough and Southampton. Now they look a decent football team and my preparation talked about the experience they had in midfield. I think it panned out like that on the day, they've got some good footballers and away that seems to suit them. On the balance of chances and the balance of play I think we come away and think a point's fine. It keeps the unbeaten run from the start of the season going and we move on to the next game. Which I would say, having studied Leicester is every bit as difficult if not more difficult than Ipswich. When you look at them. They are very similar to Ipswich in that they had a difficult start and lost some games at home that they maybe wouldn't have expected to, particularly with the expectation of having spent some money. Sven being the manager will bring its own pressures I think. When you spend money pre-season, as this club found the year before last, the expectation rises and they didn't get off to the start they wanted. And yet having watched their last few games they seem to have found a way that suits them. As I've just talked about Ipswich. They are similar in playing a diamond in midfield, they play between the lines, full backs pushing on and its eems to suit the players they've got.

Q: Did the way Ipswich played that the league hasn't settled down yet and the good teams haven't all shaken their way up?

TM: Undoubtedly. The bigger squads, the teams with the better players and the most of those better players, at the moment they might have one or two of them in the stands, five on the bench. But when the injuries come and suspensions come and you replace quality that gets injured with quality off the bench then them hopefully you keep winning football matches. And I am pretty sure Ipswich Town won't be far away, or Leicester, and one or two others with bigger squads, West Ham, had a difficult start, yet when you look at their squad they have some good players. Hopefully we throw ourselves in the mix of that, maybe not as big a squad as some of them and yet if we can keep them fit and keep them believing, we can have a good season.

Q: What would a manager rather have money or pressure and no money and a bit less pressure?

TM: (laughs) I think money and pressure. The more good players you've got I think as a football manager, you can ask for no more. The levels of expectation, you only ask for a modicum of reality with that really, building a team sometimes, new players gelling together, finding the best formation that suits them, the 11 on the pitch. But undoubtedly the more good players you've got the better chance of winning football matches you've got.


Q: Do you think there is quite a lot of pressure on Sven Goran Ericksson because of the situation and because of who he is.

TM: I think Sven's record in football speaks for itself. He has won league titles in Italy and Sweden and has been manager of England. He is a fantastic football manager, people should be giving him credit for taking on challenges like Leicester City and Notts County before that. I think he is probably at this stage of his managerial career looking for fresh challenges. He could manage in the Premier league and if he's not in one of the top 4 or 5 teams he could finish in mid table every year. It depends what he wants to do.

I've done it playing in the Championship and managed to win the league. The day you win the league title whether it be the 2nd Division in England or the Championship, or the Premier League, the emotion is the same, you are in a competition and you are in it to win it. Am sure Sven is looking to get right to the top end of this table and enjoy as part of his career taking the team to the Premier league. Whether he does time will tell.

Q: Great unbeaten start but looking at the home form one win, three draws. Is that something to concern you as yet or is it just too early?

TM: I think when you've played a dozen games at home, hopefully we've won the majority and the draws don't seem bad points and there are not many losses against that column. It will be OK it will balance itself out I'm sure. I was talking about how difficult it is at first to play the first game at home of the season because of the expectation and the adrenaline of both sides is really pumped up and you get strange results. We were ten seconds away, last kick of the game, 94th minute from getting a 2-1 win. We dropped points in that game. I felt the Coventry game at home the 1-1 draw we'd played Carling Cup in midweek, they didn't. It was one of those where we did run out of legs in a game we were in front and wilted towards the end. Let's hope we can find some consistency, the Carling Cup is no longer a distraction for us and so the midweek games become less. I think we've played just about every midweek from the start of the season so far with league games and cup competitions. Great credit to the players that they've kept going.

Let's wait and see this Wednesday is a challenge to both clubs, we played Saturday, they played Sunday. It is a typical Championship midweek, another tough game. Thankfully for us we were at home at the weekend, they did a bit of travelling to Wales and now to the north east, so it is not easy. And yet lets see the outcome of it.

Q: Tony do you think if the away and home results this season were reversed that the crowds would be above 20 000?

TM: I don't think so. I don't know that of course. I hope Boro fans are enjoying looking at the league table and seeing the team doing well. And yet does a draw at home impact too much negativity, I don't think so. I think there's still many, many thousands who sit at home listen to the radio or watch the tv results coming in and feel great that Boro win on the road. Maybe they haven’t got the pound in the pocket to come and watch the team at home but I would like to think over the course of the season if we can maintain a high level, if the team are at the to of the table moving in to the new year or in the top six and threatening a play off or promotion spot then the genuine Boro fans out there, at the moment finding it hard to come to the game financially will maybe give up on something else to come and support their team back to the promised land.

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