Jim looks forward to welcoming Mogga

BLUES boss Jim Magilton is looking forward to welcoming former team-mate Tony Mowbray to Portman Road tomorrow - as the new West Bromwich Albion manager.

By Derek Davis

BLUES boss Jim Magilton is looking forward to welcoming former team-mate Tony Mowbray to Portman Road tomorrow - as the new West Bromwich Albion manager.

The former Blues captain, coach and caretaker manager is expected to complete talks with the Baggies today after being given permission to speak to chairman Jeremy Peace, who has agreed a compensation package with Hibs.

But Nigel Pearson has been preparing the side for tomorrow's Championship clash at Portman Road and is likely to be in the dug-out while Mowbray takes a back seat and observes from the stand - if everything is completed.


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Magilton played in the same promotion-winning Ipswich side as Mowbray and is confident he will be a success at the Hawthorns. He said: “Mogga was a great servant to this club and a terrific influence in the dressing room. I was fortunate to play in the same team as him and his knowledge and experience was invaluable to us.

“He has done a terrific job along with Mark Venus at Hibs and I'm sure he will do well at West Brom. Mogga is a deep thinker about the game and will have his own ideas about getting West Brom promoted out of the Championship.

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“They already have a talented squad with high quality players and while some may not stay for whatever reason he will have money to use in the January window and the means to do very well.”

Pearson, who like Mowbray turned down the chance to speak to Ipswich when they had a vacancy, was last night in the dark about the managerial position at the Hawthorns and even though it appears he has missed out, has been focusing on getting the Albion team right.

Magilton said: “Nigel inspired them to a fabulous win over Leeds when they were down to 10-men and I have no doubt he will have kept them focused for this game.

“They will come here in good spirits and fancy their chances and I can't blame them. We have to match them in every aspect and make sure that we get back to how we were before the disappointment of the last game.”

The Blues trained yesterday afternoon and reported no further injury problems other than Gavin Williams, who has had a successful hernia operation.

Magilton said: “It was a lively session and everyone came through. We had Alan Lee and Lewis Price back fit after the internationals and I was especially pleased for Lewis, who did so well for Wales.”

Torquay United boss Ian Atkins is keen on taking Darryl Knights on loan and has also been keeping tabs on Chris Casement.

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