We are the underdogs - Mogga

IPSWICH Town coach Tony Mowbray today insisted that his team were the underdogs in their UEFA Cup clash with Swedish club Helsingborgs.

By Mel Henderson

IPSWICH Town coach Tony Mowbray today insisted that his team were the underdogs ahead of their UEFA Cup clash with Swedish club Helsing-borgs.

The Blues entertain Helsingborgs in a second round, first leg tie at Portman Road tomorrow night.

"When you look at the respective leagues we play in then obviously the one we compete in is stronger, but I feel that Helsingborgs' great European experience over the years makes them the favourites," said Mowbray.

"I genuinely believe that we should be considered the underdogs for this reason. Helsingborgs have tasted regular European action down the years. They will know when to defend and when to attack and they will come here with a definite game plan that will be based on experience at top venues including Inter-Milan's San Siro Stadium.

"They know a great deal about the psychology of European football and, as a result of this, we are the underdogs in the tie. But it is up to us to be progressive and to be positive and this is what we'll be out to do."

Most Read

Town have been boosted by a first clean sheet of the Premiership season against Everton at home on Saturday.

Mowbray, a former Middlesbrough, Celtic and Ipswich central defender, knows full well how much this can mean.

He said: "Defenders take particular pride from a clean sheet and hopefully in our case this one can build into two and so on. After a clean sheet you feel more invincible, but the key factor is to keep the concentration going and continue to shut out the individual errors that can lead to opposition teams scoring.

"We've got to keep doing the simple things right and to be organised. Hopefully we can get the goals too and make an impressive start."

Helsingborgs manager Manne Bergstrand goes into the game under great pressure as his team have failed to qualify for the Champions League. They are six points adrift with just two games remaining. Only the winners go through.

The visitors are staying at the Stoke-by-Nayland golf hotel and will train at Portman Road this evening.

Town still have a concern over striker Alun Armstrong ahead of the big tie that has an 8.05pm kick-off and will be screened live on BBC1.

Armstrong is again troubled by a sore back and did not train yesterday. Manager George Burley said today that he has a 50-50 chance of playing.

Meanwhile, Helsingborgs striker Jesper Jansson is fit again after a thigh injury and is set to play.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter