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Mowbray eyes Albion fight

06 February 2009 02:49
Tony Mowbray believes West Brom can 'punch above their weight' and stay in the Premier League.

The Baggies boss has seen fellow strugglers Tottenham and Manchester City spend copious amounts of money in the winter transfer window, but Mowbray has no axe to grind about a lack of funds which meant he was only able to bring in four players on loan.

With the window now shut, a vital home clash with Newcastle on Saturday awaits the former Hibernian manager and Mowbray is optimistic the Baggies can climb out of the relegation zone.

The Albion tactician knows, however, the kind of talent acquired by Spurs boss Harry Redknapp and City's Mark Hughes will probably give their clubs the edge needed to ensure top flight football for another season.

"I am the guy who sits here every week and says invariably it is the big names that put us to the sword and score the goals that win the matches," said Mowbray, whose side can leapfrog Newcastle should they win this weekend.

"Robbie Keane scores two against us for Liverpool and I sat there and then think, 'Wait a minute, a £20million striker has just put us to the sword.'

"To be fair our squad wasn't put together for that much money but that is what quality buys you and wins you football matches although the chemistry has to be right within the squad.

"There are a lot of managers I am sure would love to go and spend £50million in January.

Prediction"I would suggest those teams who did spend £50million or whatever it was in January will probably get out of trouble with the quality players they have bought.

"At the end of May they will look back at January and February and say 'what a bad time that was but we were never really in danger'.

"Our job is to make sure we leave ourselves with enough games to stay in touch with them."

Mowbray added: "I think historically the money you spend relates to where you finish in the league. The teams with the biggest budgets finish at the top. The teams with the smaller budgets finish at the bottom.

"Our remit has always been to punch above our weight and don't finish down the bottom. I enjoy trying to pit my wits against the best players. You can punch above your weight in football.

"Some do it differently to others. You only know come the end of the season whether you have done a good job or got what the outside world expected. I expect us to finish outside the bottom three."

Mowbray does not believe the 5-0 mauling in the last home fixture against Manchester United nor Wednesday's FA Cup exit to Burnley will affect confidence at the Hawthorns.

"You don't like to lose any game of football," said the Baggies boss, whose side has already claimed the scalps of Manchester City, Spurs and Middlesbrough at home.

Newcastle"But with all due respect we've got bigger games coming up. It was important to switch our focus to this game and that (the cup defeat) will soon be forgotten if we get a good result this weekend.

"Equally the Manchester United game, in our predicament, has to be taken in isolation and forgotten about very quickly. The previous half a dozen games at home before that we had done reasonably well in.

"Manchester United in my opinion are far superior to most of the teams in the league and ask more questions of you.

"Newcastle is a game which will ask different questions to Manchester United. We've shown in recent games we can be competitive.

"A victory would put us above Newcastle. We can't determine what happens elsewhere. It's a big game for Newcastle and let's see what happens.

"I don't think we're jittery. We are enjoying the challenge of trying to stay in this division.

"It's a tight division and there are a dozen teams who will feel concern and a few above that who realise they probably need another win or two to put some space between them and teams at bottom end. We need to keep the momentum we've had recently."

Source: SKY_Sports