Mowbray scoops award

TONY Mowbray has been voted Scottish Football Writers' Manager of the Year, and he immediately gave the credit to his back-room staff and young team, writes Derek Davis.

TONY Mowbray has been voted Scottish Football Writers' Manager of the Year, and he immediately gave the credit to his back-room staff and young team, writes Derek Davis.

The former Blues' player, coach and caretaker manager has won the accolade in his first season as boss at Easter Road after taking Hibernian to third in the SPL and into the Scottish Cup semi-final.

The award topped a memorable weekend for Mowbray, whose youngsters beat his former club Celtic 3-1 at Parkhead on Saturday to stay in a UEFA Cup qualifying position.

Mowbray last night told the EADT: "It is great to receive the award but it is overall recognition for the football club. A lot of credit has to go to Mark Venus and the other coaches. We inherited a lot of good young players from Academy director John Park and they have worked hard to get to where we are."


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Hibs are five points clear of challengers Aberdeen with three games to play, and they play Terry Butcher's Motherwell on Saturday while the Dons go to Celtic Park.

Mowbray, who joined Hibs last summer from Ipswich, said: "The award won't mean anything if we don't finish third, which is almost like winning the league here, and qualifying for Europe.

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"For our lads to go to Celtic and win 3-1 was testament to the players and beating one of the Old Firm in front of 60,000 at Celtic Park bodes well for next season."

Mowbray, who scored in the 2000 play-off final which sent Town into the Premiership, is still a keen follower of Ipswich and is backing them to go up again.

He said: "I'm sure Ipswich will do their bit at Brighton, let's hope Reading can get something at Wigan, which I'm sure they are capable of."

Hibs chairman Rod Petrie said: "I am delighted for Tony and it is a superb achievement to gain this recognition in his first year as a manager."

He added: "It underlines that all of the time taken and work carried out by the board in searching for the right person to take over at the club was well worthwhile.

"Tony has delivered on what he said he would set out to do.

"The team is playing attacking, attractive and winning football and our fans have responded magnificently."

Hibs' 22-goal striker Derek Riordan won the SFW Young Player of the Year, while John Hartson was the SFW Player of the year.

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