Mogga Not Entirely Unhappy With Abandonment
Monday, 13th Feb 2012 06:01
Boro boss Tony Mowbray didn’t appear entirely unhappy that Saturday’s game at Portman Road had been abandoned after 37 minutes with his side weakened by injuries and with the match coming only a few days after their extra-time FA Cup replay defeat to Sunderland.
The former Blues skipper, coach and caretaker-manager said: “We did have a very depleted team and we had played extra-time on Wednesday but because of the professionalism of professional sport I didn’t argue the point against playing too hard and yet I genuinely feel it was the right decision at the end of the day. It’s easy in hindsight to say that we should never have started.
“I’d like to think we’ll return in a few weeks’ time with on paper a stronger team. Our captain, Matthew Bates, will be fit, Barry Robson should be fit and Faris Haroun should be fit.”
The man known as Mogga wasn’t overly impressed with the football which did take place on Saturday: “I didn’t think the first 30 minutes was much of a spectacle, I think there were a lot of players kicking it to make sure and there was a bit of head tennis because they didn’t want to take chances on what was an extra-lively pitch.
“When I say lively, I mean it was hard and firm. I’m sure when we come back in few weeks’ time on a Tuesday night, we’ll have a better football match and a better spectacle for all the supporters who come back and watch the game.”
Most of Mowbray’s players were frustrated that the game was called to an early halt, although he says left-back Joe Bennett was more than happy with referee Dean Whitestone’s decision: “I think most of them were frustrated because I think most of the pitch was OK. We’ve all played on pitches like that.
“I can remember playing a cup tie in the mid-eighties against Arsenal where in the first half you had to wear flats and in the second long studs because the stand [was casting a shadow]. Games were played in the real heavy frost then, but in modern day football it doesn’t happen.
“Most of the players were happy because it was fine where they were playing but my left-back did think that he was having real difficulty planting his foot and being able to turn and twist and play football.
“I think the biggest indication was the linesman on this side who didn’t trust himself anywhere near the line. He was running the line five yards on the pitch, which you can’t have - he’d end up tackling the players! He was only doing that because he felt in danger off the pitch where it was ridiculously firm.”
Photos: Action Images
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