Mogga the fans' choice

TONY Mowbray is the fans' choice to take over from Steve McClaren at Middlesbrough.McClaren's appointment as England manager paves the way for Mowbray to return to his boyhood club as manager, after cutting his teeth so successfully in the Scottish Premier League with Hibernian.

By Derek Davis

TONY Mowbray is the fans' choice to take over from Steve McClaren at Middlesbrough.

McClaren's appointment as England manager paves the way for Mowbray to return to his boyhood club as manager, after cutting his teeth so successfully in the Scottish Premier League with Hibernian.

Mowbray enjoyed a career spanning 424 games and 29 goals at Ayresome Park before a £1m move to Celtic and then on to Ipswich where he scored in the play-off final and was caretaker manager in between George Burley and Joe Royle.


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The 42-year-old took over at Hibernian almost two years ago and in his first season led them into Europe by finishing third.

A cash injection meant Hearts overhauled the Edinburgh rivals and Hibs will have to settle for a fourth place finish this season.

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The lack of funds, and therefore ability to seriously challenge the Old Firm and the Jambos, has left Mowbray and loyal assistant Mark Venus frustrated and perhaps vulnerable to offers from the right club in England.

Boro chief executive Jeremy Lamb insisted next Wednesday's UEFA Cup final against Seville was the priority but the search for McClaren's appointment will start the day after.

He added: “We will take some time to consider our options in this matter, but can assure Boro supporters that any decision will be made with the intention of continuing to take the football club forward, building on the work that Steve has carried out over the last five years.”

Boro fans have made no secret of their desire to see Mowbray at the helm with letters, straw polls and respectable message boards backing the Teesside legend.

One stumbling block could be that Mowbray will be keen to take Venus, his own No. 2, to the Riverside with him, while Boro bosses are looking to hand Gareth Southgate a coaching role at some point.

Rob Nicolls, editor of the fanzine Fly Me to the Moon said: “I personally always go with my heart rather than my head, and my heart says Tony Mowbray coming back as the new manager. I would want him to have Gareth Southgate as his captain and his assistant while he's on the pitch.”

n STEVE Foley has left Norwich City with immediate effect as the Canaries look to shake up their coaching staff.

Foley, who still lives in Essex, was a long-time popular player and then coach at Colchester United and his experience is likely to be sought after.

The 53-year-old suffered with an ulcer last summer but returned fit and strong and helped manager Nigel Worthington through a difficult season with City under-achieving and restless Canaries' fans calling for the Irishman's head.

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