Mowbray admits Boro luck

Last updated : 18 January 2009 By Wba-mad Editor

Tony Mowbray admitted Albion finally enjoyed the rub-of-the-green against Middlesbrough with deflected goals from Chris Brunt and Marc-Antonie Fortuné helping the Baggies to their biggest victory of the season.

The 3-0 win at The Hawthorns, coupled with the 1-0 victory at The Riverside Stadium back in September, was the Baggies' first ever Premiership double and the first time the Throstles have won three consecutive games at home in the Premier League.

Albion started the game only three points behind Boro and had the best possible start in the 4th minute when Chris Brunt's deflected volley found a way past Ross Turnbull. The visitors could've been level seconds after the restart although Alfonso Alves could only head against the bar when the goal was gaping.

After the restart, loan signing Marc-Antonie Fortuné deflected in Robert Koren's effort in the 54th minute to score on his Albion debut before Middlesbrough midfielder, Didier Digard, saw red for a dangerous tackle on Borja Valero.

Koren then capped off a fine performance with a goal after a wonderful ball from Chris Brunt to secure all three points in the 67th minute.

"We're delighted with the result," Tony Mowbray, the former Boro captain, said.

"It was a big game for both clubs.

"Sometimes games of football can run for you - and it ran for us today.

"Middlesbrough deserve a lot of credit for the way they played, particularly in the first half.

"You can see the qualities they've got.

"We were hanging in there a little bit in the first half after getting the first goal.

"Middlesbrough had the extra man in midfield and when you've got quality footballers in midfield like they have they will cause you problems, as they did in the first half.

"In the second half, we sorted it out a little bit better.

"Then the sending-off came and ultimately the game was finished.

"The goals came and we could have scored a few more at the death, which would have been ultra harsh on them.

"But we've had many a game this season where we've felt we've played particularly well and got nothing.

"Middlesbrough probably feel that way a little bit today based on their first-half performance."

The victory moved Albion off the bottom of the table for the first time since November into 19th place, and only in the relegation zone courtesy of a one goal inferior goal-difference. Despite the positional change, Mowbray refused to get carried away.

"I haven't seen the league table yet," the Baggies boss continued.

"But I don't take much stock in it.

"We're off the bottom but getting out of the bottom-three is a more crucial, psychological barrier to overcome.

"I think we're going to need a few more games to make that happen.

"We've got Manchester United here next and let's see how we get on against them.

"They're on an incredible run of games playing Saturday and midweek and if we're at it that night you never know.

"I think in the Premier League you need to try and win back-to-back games because if you lose the next one, and other teams win, you find yourselves chasing points again.

"Nobody at our club is thinking we've achieved anything.

"But we've given ourselves a chance.

"We've brought the rest of the league back to us a little bit and we'll enjoy the second half of the season.

"There are some fixtures we can look forward to.

"With total respect to them, the likes of Sunderland, Newcastle, Wigan and Bolton are the sort of teams where, if we're right on our game, we can win.

"We've never been adrift. I think it was five points at the most.

"I've never had a bet in my life and I'm not bothered about the bookies' odds.

"You've got to believe in your team and, while we've got a real hard slog ahead, we've got to look forward to the remaining 16 games, be positive and believe we can win enough of them.

"We've got to make sure teams come to The Hawthorns and have uncomfortable days.

"Today, I'm delighted for our club and supporters that they've enjoyed another victory here.

"That's the first time we've won three home games on the bounce in the Premier League.

"The great test for us is to see if we can make it four against the best team in the world in our next home league game in ten days' time."