Robson stands up for Mowbray
BARRY ROBSON has expressed his sympathy for the way Tony Mowbray was treated during his nine months in charge at Celtic, but insists the managerial ability of Middlesbrough's new boss will not have been dented. Robson spent the first six of those months at Parkhead working with Mowbray before a £1.5m offer from Boro for his services was accepted last January. At that stage it was not all doom and gloom for the Teesside legend in Glasgow, but three months later he was out of a job, having failed to win the Scottish Premier League title in his first year. Despite being a former Hoops player and captain, Mowbray was given a torrid time by the supporters and by the media north of the border. But Robson is satisfied Mowbray will be able to rediscover the touch he had during his time at Hibernian and West Brom, provided he is given the time to put his mark on things at the Riverside Stadium. There's no danger of what happened in Scotland affecting the manager, said Robson, ahead of this afternoon's visit of Crystal Palace, when he hopes to have recovered from a thigh problem. He can help us. He knows what it is like to be successful down here. He knows how to help us and to say what we should be doing. That is what we want from him. He managed in Scotland. If you lose a game up there it is like losing five games. That is what it is like. You are judged on Europe and Tony was still trying to build his team, trying to get the players in he wanted. It was never going to be easy and he lost his job. There's no split, insists Robson It was not Tony Mowbray's fault because we lost the league the year before he came. He was unfortunate. As Celtic manager he had to turn things around quickly. He couldn't do that. Mowbray was vilified at times in Scotland, having failed to keep Celtic ahead of their Old Firm rivals, when his every move was scrutinised a far cry from walking along Teesside streets as a living legend. I used to live half an hour from Glasgow, but if you ask Tony Mowbray there was an intrusion in your private life. If you can live in the right place you would be fine but it was hard, said Robson. The spotlight might not be the same as it was in Scotland, but Robson is still angered by suggestions of a split in the Middlesbrough dressing room. I keep hearing there is a divide in the camp between the Scottish guys and the English guys, he said. I slaughter the Scottish guys, I'm the first to get into them. It's not like that at all. There's no problem. Then I hear there is a divide between the Scottish and English boys, the Celtic the Rangers boys, then you have Willo Flood, who is Irish. He must be on his own, not in a camp. The boys all get on great and it's all rubbish. I was told a few days ago about it. There's not that many newspapers down here that cover us in great detail. In Scotland you couldn't go in to a petrol station without there being something wrong, you'd be on the back of a newspaper up there. Here the national newspapers are on about Wayne Rooney every day. It's great. I don't know where the divide suggestions came from. There's no divide.
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