Mowbray pledges to focus on attack after taking reins at Albion

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The Independent Football

Muhammad Ali, Vince Lombardi and Abraham Lincoln may soon be enlisted to help West Bromwich Albion's push for a rapid return to the Premiership after the arrival of Tony Mowbray as manager.

The former Hibernian manager, 42, whose unveiling at The Hawthorns yesterday came four weeks after Bryan Robson's demise, admitted he tried to inspire his young side in Scotland by pinning quotations by the American trio on the dressing-room wall.

"Ali's one was about how he won his fights not by 'dancing under the lights' but by how he prepared for them," said Mowbray, whose first game in charge of an Albion team lying third in the Championship will be Sunday's home derby against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Mowbray pledged to play "fast, attacking football". His philosophy, honed in spells as a centre-back with Middlesbrough, Celtic and Ipswich, was that football is "about entertainment as well as results".

"When I looked at the squad list here, I saw talent right the way through," Mowbray enthused, mindful that the caretaker manager, Nigel Pearson, had bequeathed a positive position. With the ex-Wolves defender Mark Venus as his No 2, Mowbray will work on a 12-month rolling contract. Albion's chairman, Jeremy Peace, said the change was made early to give the new regime time to escape the second tier.