No January bargains

Last updated : 04 January 2011 By Northern Echo

The cash-strapped Boro boss told clubs hoping to get his best players on the cheap that they can think again.

Prize asset David Wheater, pictured during yesterday's 1-1 draw with Norwich, is expected to leave the Riverside before the end of this month's transfer window.

While the club will also listen to offers for Scott McDonald, Kris Boyd and Barry Robson but only if the price is right.

Should Middlesbrough not receive a substantial offer for their most saleable assets, they will remain on Teesside.

There have been no concrete offers for any player, just tentative inquiries, said Mowbray, after seeing his side profit from a Russell Martin own goal to claim a draw against Norwich.

The balance is always about time and finance really.

The chairman has come out publicly and said no one will be leaving on the cheap.

There is no fire sale required.

So if people do leave, it will be for the right money in either this window or the next window. We need to redress the salaries of the outgoings and the incomings.

Asked whether he would be happy if everyone stayed at the club and there was no movement in either direction, the former Middlesbrough captain revealed there has to be some transfer activity for the club to make progress.

There have to be changes,

said Mowbray. The team needs freshening up as well and I think the supporters will welcome some exciting new talent.

We have to try and find it, but where do you go and get it That is the question I'm constantly asking myself. We can't afford Premier League players.

We could go and get 18- year-olds, but you're really gambling with kids. You can buy off Championship clubs, but no one gives you players for cheap and who are going to compete against them.

The market might be abroad, but it might have to be loans because you don't want to commit to foreign players.

As we've seen with one or two here, the transition is difficult at times.

For instance, in Holland, it is a nice lovely passing football game compared to the hurly-burly of the Championship.

They might be high quality, but it takes them time to bed in and we don't have that time.

It is a difficult market to work in.

Mowbray admitted all the uncertainty surrounding the January transfer window makes his job more difficult, but accepts it is part and parcel of football.

It is a transient environment that you work in, he added. You have to manage change in football clubs. I have no problem with that.

This football club was in the Premier League for 11 years. We have players where economics determine they have to go.

Supporters have to understand that and I'm sure they do. My job is to find players on a lot less salary earnings, and hopefully better players, and hope it is a seamless change.

There has not been a seamless change from the ungainly football played under his predecessor, Gordon Strachan, to free-flowing flair, but there has been a difference in the last few weeks.

And the fact Boro are disappointed to have taken only a point from each of their last two fixtures against teams in the top four shows how far they have come under Mowbray.

I thought we were the stronger team at the death and I think we deserved to win the game, he said. We started very sloppily and maybe there was a little hangover from Elland Road.

I thought we built up some momentum as the game went on and it is a disappointed dressing room because we did not take three points.

They are second in the league and I think it is indicative of this league that there is nothing between the team second and the team second bottom. On any given day anyone can beat anyone.

We didn't deserve to lose today and it feels harsh that we only won a point.

Source: Northern Echo

Source: Northern Echo