Mowbray aims high with Middlesbrough

Tony Mowbray has set his sights on steering boyhood club Middlesbrough back into the Barclays Premier League after being unveiled as their new manager.

Mowbray, who was born in nearby Saltburn and captained Boro during a successful 10-year spell between 1981 and 1991, succeeds Gordon Strachan after he resigned from his post at the Riverside last Monday.

Strachan quit with the club 20th in the npower Championship - their lowest league position for 20 years - while successive 1-0 defeats at Nottingham Forest and Norwich have since seen them slip to third from bottom.

Their disappointing start to the campaign comes after last season's unimpressive 11th-placed finish on the back of their relegation from the top flight in 2008/09.

Mowbray, the former Celtic, West Brom and Hibernian manager, has now been charged with the task of turning his hometown club around in the same way he did during his inspirational playing days at Ayresome Park.

He guided Boro from liquidation to successive promotions from the old Division Three to the top tier in English football, making 424 appearances before being sold to Celtic for £1million.

Mowbray - who will be assisted by Mark Venus, also his right-hand man during his spells at Easter Road, The Hawthorns and Celtic Park - told Sky Sports News: "Since I was six or seven I have been a Middlesbrough fan and I used to come and stand on the terraces with my dad so when the opportunity arose and a few things got ironed out it didn't take me a moment's thought.

"This is a club I have been passionate about all my life and I now have an opportunity to manage them and try to steer them back to where we all want to be.

"Everybody involved in the club wants to go back to the Premier League, everyone wants to manage in the Premier League and play in the Premier League, supporters want to watch their team play against some of the best players in the world. Our ambition is to get the club moving back in the right direction towards that goal.

"This is a fantastic football club and a special place. People from Middlesbrough are all very passionate about their team and what we have to do is to get that passion and get everyone behind the team again because when the Riverside is bouncing it's a special place and we need to get the Boro fans back on board and pushing this team back in the right direction.

"I am very proud to be at the helm and to try and steer this ship back in the right direction."

Chief executive Keith Lamb was delighted to get their man and believes Mowbray is the person to turn around the club's fortunes.

He said: "The reason we appointed Tony is because he cares for the club, is passionate about the club and has a proven track record in English football and Scottish football.

"Let's not forget Tony has been manager of the year in England and Scotland and because of his background we think he is just the person to take Middlesbrough Football Club out of the very difficult position we find ourselves in and there is no hiding away from that. We are third-bottom of the Championship, there is a big job ahead, a big job needs a big man and Tony is that man.

"We recognise the last four years have been a downward slope for Middlesbrough, we need to arrest that slide. Tony was the only person we approached directly, Tony was our first choice and we are very fortunate we have been able to capture the man that was at the top of our list."

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