All-but-promoted Mowbray targets transfers

April 29, 2008

West Brom manager Tony Mowbray is aiming to unearth 'some little gems' to add to the squad which has taken the club to the verge of promotion to the Premier League.

The Baggies are virtually assured of a place in the top flight after a two year absence as a result of the 1-1 home draw with relegation-threatened Southampton at The Hawthorns.

Albion have moved ahead of previous leaders Stoke on goal difference with just one game remaining of their Coca Cola Championship campaign.

And Mowbray's side would have to lose at QPR while Hull, the only side who can deny them promotion, would have to win at Ipswich and manufacture a 12-goal swing.

But Mowbray is already eager to start working with chairman Jeremy Peace in trying to ensure West Brom can remain in the Premier League.

He said: 'I speak to the chairman most days. It certainly makes my job easier when he is very professional about the way he wants the club running.

'I am happy to take my footballing philosophies and marry them to his money management.

'Whatever people say about the chairman, he runs the club extremely well and hopefully we can marry the two together and be successful.'

Mowbray admitted: 'It is not easy to get players. You look at players in this country and they cost too much money. You look at players abroad and you take a chance because you don't know the personality.

'There are a million agents with 10 million players who all think they are good enough to play in your team.

'My job is to siphon through them all and try and come up with some little gems that can enhance what we have already got here to help to make our team competitive.'

Mowbray revealed his pride at helping Albion close in on regaining their place amongst the elite barring some freak results at the weekend.

He said: 'I left a very good job in Scotland with Hibernian to try and achieve the aim of taking Albion back to the Premier League. Standing here now, it feels pretty good that we have achieved that.

'I am delighted for everyone at the club. It is a warm feeling inside.

'It feels good and when I tell my three-year-old that his daddy is in the Premier League, I am sure he won't know what I am talking about but in years to come hopefully he will understand that.

'I am here to try and be successful, to help the club achieve things, to help the fans to be proud about the team.'

Saints boss Nigel Pearson admitted the fate of his side is out of his hands after conceding a late equaliser and they remain in the bottom three on goal difference from Leicester.

Southampton entertain Sheffield United at the weekend while the Foxes travel to promotion-chasing Stoke.

Pearson said: 'It would have been nice to hold onto the lead but it wasn't to be. It is not in our own hands because of the goal difference situation.

'But it gives us a better chance of staying up than had we been beaten.

'But the performance was heartening and there are positives to be taken from that display. If we go about Sunday in the same vein, we've got a real fighting chance of staying up.

'The point means we have dragged a couple more teams into the equation and I think it is now one from five for the final (relegation) place.'