Mowbray's Honest Approach Continues as Attention Diverts from EPL to SPL.

Last updated : 16 October 2009 By Clydebuilt

Tony Mowbray has already built a reputation during the early days of his tenure for being an open and honest coach willing to give a realistic appraisal of each matter he is quizzed on. This is like a breath of fresh air for many fans who quickly grew tired of the previous incumbent's ability to see a 5 star performance after a home defeat.

However many comments in recent times have seen Tony criticised for his public floggings of players after the match and if rumours are to be believed the players are none too chuffed about this either, although this would appear to have been resolved. I tend to sit on the fence in terms of comparing the two manager's media style. Whilst I could appreciate Strachan's loyalty to his players in not publicly deriding them I felt that his blinkered approach only served to distance him from the fans, on the opposite side of the spectrum I feel that Tony's insistence to single out individuals is not in the best interests of the team.

However what do I know?

Anyway back to today's news. Mowbray has commented on various matters from the hullabaloo relating to Celtic leaving the SPL, to the continued fall-out after the defeat at Ibrox and the protection of players that maybe need a wee arm put round them at this stage of the season.

Firstly Tony has been this week required to defend his style of play after the recent Rangers game and also to comment on the future of the game here in Scotland.

Mowbray said: "My single goal is to win matches every week and take the SPL title back from Rangers.

"Walter's put a lot of years into the Scottish game. From my point of view I think we have a responsibility to Scottish football but a right to keep our ear to the ground for change at the same time.

"I'm building a side that's trying to punch above its weight in European competition. We're facing sides in the SPL who are trying to do the same against the Old Firm.

"My team is about trying to win with style and if Celtic were accused of not being entertaining to watch then I would find that difficult to understand."

Mowbray however did feel the need to retort to the notion that Celtic fans were either not renewing their season tickets or where cherry picking which games they would be attending due to an element of apathy that was propagated during the previous managers reign.

Mowbray chose to answer this question directly in an open and transparent manager and treat the query literally. This was an error in my opinion and the irony of this situation is that he could maybe have taken a leaf out of his predecessor's book on avoiding loaded questions. His response of: "Can the supporters not see in front of their eyes that this is a different time?

"There is no Henrik Larsson, no Neil Lennon, none of John Hartson's know-how and no sweet left foot like Alan Thompson" is a little disparaging to the opinion of the fan. However I cannot fault him for his honesty and integrity in this matter.

The chat then moved onto the weekends SPL card and the visit of Motherwell.

"I could go out against Motherwell this weekend and stifle the opposition with the players we have got but I won't play football that way and I don't think our fans would want to see that type of game.

"Of course players, managers and supporters all want to be part of the best league they can possibly be in. That's how you grow your finances and improve your squad.

"The Premier League down south is an amazing set-up. When your team coach arrives at marvellous grounds on match days there are hundreds of people there waiting for you and it's a big-time atmosphere. It's like that when the Celtic bus arrives outside of our own ground on match days.

"Is it the same when we roll up to Motherwell, to use just one example ? No, not really."

Finally the boss turned his attention to man management, or should I say man-boy management as he passed comment on Shaun Maloney's dramatic dip in form.

He said: "We need to protect Shaun and not flog him until he breaks down. He's had a lot of football and he has become a bit of a concern for us.

"I've also got to tailor my side with the midweek game against Hamburg in mind. Andreas Hinkel and Danny Fox are unlikely to play this weekend for that reason but I would expect Scott Brown to be fine after a two-week break.

Here's to a good home performance to set us up for the Hamburg tie!

Yours in Celtic