Mowbray eyes up unique Wembley double
TONY Mowbray has a unique Wembley double firmly in his sights.The former Ipswich captain and coach will lead out his West Bromwich Albion side at the rebuilt national stadium on May 28.
By Mel Henderson
TONY Mowbray has a unique Wembley double firmly in his sights.
The former Ipswich captain and coach will lead out his West Bromwich Albion side at the rebuilt national stadium on May 28.
Derby County will be the Baggies' opponents in the Championship play-off final, the richest game of all with a Premiership place and a £60million jackpot up for grabs.
And Mowbray, 43, will be hoping for another Wembley win, just as he helped Ipswich achieve seven years ago in the last play-off final to be staged at the famous old ground before the bulldozers moved in.
The ex-defender played and scored the first goal as Town defeated Barnsley in what proved to be his last game before turning to a career in coaching and management.
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Victory over Derby on Monday week would be a thrilling climax to the season for Mowbray, who only took charge seven months ago when he moved from Scottish club Hibs to succeed the axed Bryan Robson.
He and assistant Mark Venus, a defensive colleague when the pair were together at Portman Road, saw Albion overcome Midlands rivals Wolves in last night's second leg at The Hawthorns.
Leading 3-2 from Sunday's first leg at Molineux, the Baggies extended their advantage when veteran striker Kevin Phillips netted the only goal in the 65th minute.
Wolves were unable to claw their way back and as the final whistle sounded the pitch was invaded by thousands of home supporters in party mood.
But Mowbray's thoughts immediately turned to overcoming Derby and he admitted: “If you win at Wembley it can be the best day of your life.
“Tonight's win means nothing to me. I have no feeling of joy in my stomach.
“We have to try and get the job done against a good Derby County side.”
He now intends doing detailed homework on the Rams, who only narrowly missed out on automatic promotion as they finished eight points clear of fourth-placed Albion.
Mowbray said: “By and large, we think we know the strengths and the weaknesses of our opponents. But we will spend a lot more time studying them before we go to Wembley.
“Let us not kid ourselves - Derby have spent a few quid and have some very good footballers in their squad. They play to their strengths and we will be very aware of that.
“We have to go to Wembley and make sure we win because otherwise getting to the final has meant nothing. We still have plenty of work to do.
“I have spent all season talking about the balance of the team and I still do not feel we have achieved that yet, which means there are issues which need to be addressed during the summer no matter which division we are playing in.
“But people should also be aware that in players like Kevin Phillips, Diomansy Kamara and Jason Koumas we have quality, players who will be able to hold their own at whichever level we play at.”