Friends become foes when Town face WBA

JIM Magilton and Tony Mowbray are members of the same mutual admiration society. But this will be put on temporary hold on Saturday when Ipswich Town visit West Bromwich Albion in the Coca-Cola Championship.

JIM Magilton and Tony Mowbray are members of the same mutual admiration society.

But this will be put on temporary hold on Saturday when Ipswich Town visit West Bromwich Albion in the Coca-Cola Championship.

Blues boss Magilton said: “Tony is desperate for me to do well and I am desperate for him to do well.”

Former team mates in George Burley's successful Ipswich side that won promotion to the Premier League and then qualified for Europe, the pair are regularly on the phone to each other.

“We are always exchanging views on football,” added Magilton. “But not this week. This week is about getting a result on Saturday.”

Magilton is convinced that Mowbray, who is assisted by another ex-Town player Mark Venus, will become a big hit as a manager having done well at Hibernian in the Scottish Premier League before taking over the hot seat at The Hawthorns.

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“I rate Tony very highly,” said Magilton. “He is one of the brightest young managers around and I am convinced he will prove it.

“But a lot is expected of him and Mark this season, and they will be judged on this campaign.”

Magilton expects the West Brom front pair of Craig Beattie and Kevin Phillips to give his side the same forward problems as Marlon King and Darius Henderson did for Watford in Town's last game.

And he admits that Mowbray has a big advantage with Albion still in receipt of parachute payments after relegation from the top flight in 2006.

“West Brom's money situation is out of our bracket,” admitted Magilton. “They have a lot more money to spend, which puts them in a fantastic position. I do not contemplate having that sort of money - it does not enter my head. I know my limits.”

Mowbray, who had six of his key performers away on international duty this week, spent nine years at Ipswich as a player and then coach.

He said: “We know we will be playing a football team in a game against a side who will play and pass and try to score goals.

“It is difficult to get the ball off them and I know many of the coaching staff there very well and it has always been their philosophy to play that way.”

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