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Mowbray confident he will have time to turn Boro around
TONY MOWBRAY feels £1m new-boy Albert Adomah is merely the latest piece of the Middlesbrough jigsaw he is putting together and that chairman Steve Gibson is appreciative of the time required to turn the club around.
Two straight defeats – to Leicester City and then League Two Accrington Stanley - was the worst possible start Boro could have made to the new campaign before today’s trip to Charlton Athletic and the pressure on the manager to turn things around has increased from the fans.
All the indications are that there is no extra heat being placed on Mowbray’s shoulders from the boardroom, given the extent of the cost-cutting which has gone on at the Riverside Stadium since taking over in October 2010.
For the first time during his time in charge, though, the Middlesbrough manager is in a situation to look forward again, having moved on the club’s highest earners he inherited from his predecessors and weighing up ways of improving his squad.
“The chairman has seen the two games we have played this year. He understands,” said Mowbray. “Maybe the fact we didn't win games towards the end of last season was down to the players we had then. Maybe changing things and 11 leaving is not such a bad thing. Maybe the ones who come in can help us build a team that can win consistently. Let's wait and see.
“Let’s bring in the players we want. Can we do that financially? Let's wait and see. I fully understand that managers have to win games but in my own mind, let's get some players in and meanwhile go out and win some games.”
He added: “I feel I have no problem with the support of the chairman. He knows the history of what he has done in the past and what he is doing now and how it works. He is very supportive. He wants to help more than anything. He can see the problems.
“Sometimes, people just see results but it is a results business so we live and die by that - I understand that. As a manager, who feels he knows where he wants to go, I would like to be judged when I have done the job.
"If I don't win matches after bringing in the players I'd like to get and build a team around, then that's fine. But at this moment, we are going through the process of trying to bring them in and win matches as well.”
Adomah was Middlesbrough’s fourth signing of the summer. The Ghana international, a £1m buy from Bristol City, has followed Jozsef Varga, Dean Whitehead and Frazer Richardson in moving to Teesside, but ideally Mowbray’s strengthening is far from over.
His priority after a profligate start to the campaign is to bring in a new striker, but discussions and a near £1m offer for Leeds striker Ross McCormack have come to nothing. Mowbray, though, fully intends to get a new striker and defender – at least - in before the end of the month.
Only then, he feels, can he be judged on his performance as a manager at the Riverside. He said: “Questions are being asked on the back of last season, that's fine. But a lot of those players are no longer here and we are going to try to build a new team.
“I'd have preferred to have it done by now having spent the resource we have created but that has proven more difficult than we would have thought. It is a process we are going through.
“We've had wage-cutting for two and a half years but the chairman doesn't worry too much about the money situation. It is what it is. We are now trying to build again. You cut so far but then you have to build if you have the ambition to achieve.
“Some of the players who left, their salary levels, the resource that was being eaten up, we felt we could use in a different way which is what we are trying to do. Now there is some headroom which is why we are trying to move on. We have already signed Albert Adomah which is a positive - he is a player I have liked for a few years - and yet you don't want to overburden one individual.”
Adomah, 25, is likely to slot straight in to the side on the right flank against Charlton and the hope from the manager is that the team will immediately become more threatening going forward – even if there is an acceptance more attacking options are required to turn Middlesbrough in to a greater force.
Mowbray said: “Albert is a right winger who comes from Barnet to Bristol City to Boro so his career is going in the right direction but we have not signed a superstar footballer. He's a guy whose team got relegated out of the Championship last year. But he has attributes we can utilise.
“He is another piece of a jigsaw we are trying to put back together. There is evidence that we have been able to do that in the past pretty well. You find the resource by selling players you may not want to sell, utilise different areas to build a team which is where we are.
“At this club, we all understand we need to add to the squad. We have all worked extremely hard through the summer months to add, gone down lots of avenues, done lots of travelling, spoke to lots of people, yet it has ultimately been a little bit frustrating that we still are where we are.”
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