Mowbray pours cold water on Boro hopes

 

A wasted season. Those were the words of Tony Mowbray today, as he prepared potentially to take Middlesbrough to the semi-final of a major domestic cup competition for the first time since 2006. He was talking priorities. His is still to take Boro into the Premier League. Tonight there can be a reminder that he has breathed life into his hometown club, when they travel to Swansea for a quarter-final of the Capital One Cup.

For Mowbray, who took over a club in serious trouble two years ago, the main aim remains a different division, with his side third in the Championship, three points off an automatic promotion place.

"Our main target is to win league matches," he said. "Whilst it's nice to have a run in a cup competition, get the plaudits and potentially get to a semi-final, televised games and heighten the profile of your club, the bottom line come May is, if you don't finish in the top two or the top six, giving yourselves a chance, it's a wasted season.

"For the club, the ambition we have got is to try to get back there as quickly as we can. When you are this close in a cup competition, you don't pick weakened teams, you pick your best team or your strongest team available to go and try to win, but I am still very, very conscious of the preparation for Saturday [at home to Wolves], which is why we are staying over rather than getting back at 5am so the players can get a decent night's sleep.

"I'm not that sentimental," Mowbray added. "Who were last year's semi-finalists? It doesn't matter. It matters when you stick your name on a trophy, then we could say what we had achieved.

"I have to say this Swansea team is a pretty special football team with the ball, they are very, very good. To go to the Emirates and win 2-0 and outpass Arsenal as they did is quite a feat, so we have total respect for what they do. I am sure Swansea are pretty odds-on favourites to get through."

Kick-off 7.45pm

Referee L Probert (South Gloucestershire)

Odds Swansea 4-6 Draw 11-4 Middlesbrough 9-2

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific