Ipswich way has helped Mogga - Burley

AS Celtic close in on capturing Tony Mowbray as their manager, his former boss George Burley insists being educated in Ipswich Town's traditional playing style has held him in good stead.

Derek Davis

By Derek Davis

AS Celtic close in on capturing Tony Mowbray as their manager, his former boss George Burley insists being educated in Ipswich Town's traditional playing style has held him in good stead.

West Brom are holding out for �2m compensation after being officially approached by Celtic, who have asked for permission to speak to the former Blues captain and caretaker-manager.


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Mowbray is understood to have returned from his holiday in Devon with wife Amber, who is expecting their third child, in order to hold talks with Celtic once compensation is agreed.

He is also understood to want to take right hand man and former Blues defender Mark Venus with him to Parkhead.

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Mowbray's insistence that his sides play the same style attractive football that he learned at Portman Road has made him popular, and achieved a level of success, at Hibernian and West Brom.

Now that brand of football, plus his affiliation with the Bhoys, has put the 45-year-old within reach of landing one of the most coveted jobs in British football.

Scotland boss Burley signed Mowbray from Celtic in 1995 and the centre half went on to become club captain and later coach. He helped the Blues win promotion to the Premier League via a play-off final at Wembley, when he scored in the 4-2 win over Barnsley.

It was during that seven-year spell that Burley believes Mowbray's footballing philosophy was shaped.

Burley said: “Tony took everything in, listened and learned as a young coach. At Ipswich, we were raised in a style which I loved as a player and so continued that. Tony shares the beliefs he learned there.

“His education stood him in good stead and he has stuck to those beliefs.

“I am pleased to see Tony and other ex-players from Ipswich make teams play football the right way.”

Burley never had any doubts that Mowbray would do well in football management and with trusted assistant Venus he took Hibs to third in the SPL and into Europe. He then won promotion to the top flight with the Baggies, although they came straight back down.

Burley said: “I signed Tony because I was looking for a man of character -a leader and organiser.

“He did a terrific job for us, helping gain promotion to the Premiership, then becoming first-team coach.

“He was a deep thinker. He had his own views but was receptive to others. Like all good coaches he has an open mind and likes to look at how things are done elsewhere.

“You are always wanting to learn and bring new things into your thoughts."

West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace has made it clear to Celtic that they will not be able to prise away Mowbray on the cheap.

It is understood the Baggies are looking for �2million in compensation for Mowbray if it becomes clear he wants to take on the challenge at Parkhead.

Peace said: “After two weeks of speculation, I have finally received a call from Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell, requesting permission to speak to Tony.

“I made it absolutely clear that Celtic's approach was not welcome, because we have an ongoing project at Albion in which Tony is an integral part.”

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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