Riverside Stadium

Next Game

Middlesbro' v Millwall

Saturday, 19 April 2014, 15:00

Sky Bet Ch'ship

Turf Moor

Last Game

Burnley 0 - 1 Middlesbro'

Saturday, 12 April 2014, 15:07

Sky Bet Ch'ship

Promotion the aim for Mowbray

Tony Mowbray admits Middlesbrough's quest for cup glory will count for nothing if they do not win promotion back to the Premier League.

Last Updated: 11/12/12 at 17:36 Post Comment   

Tony Mowbray: Prioritising promotion to the Premier League over cup run

Tony Mowbray: Prioritising promotion to the Premier League over cup run

The Championship side head to top-flight Swansea in the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup on Wednesday night dreaming of a place in the last four and the chance to repeat their triumph in the competition back in 2004 under Steve McClaren.

However, Mowbray makes no bones about his priorities for the season and, while he is determined to take the club he supported as a boy as far as he can along the road to Wembley, a return to the big time is the major prize in his sights.

He said: "Whilst it's nice to have a run in a cup competition, get the plaudits and potentially get to a semi-final, televised games and heighten the profile of your club, the bottom line come May is, if you don't finish in the top two or the top six, giving yourselves a chance, it's a wasted season.

"For the club, the ambition we have got is to try to get back there as quickly as we can."

To that end, Mowbray will not allow the cup campaign to act as a distraction.

Indeed, his determination not to allow the league campaign to falter - the Teessiders currently sit in third place in the table - means preparations for Saturday's clash with Wolves have dictated their travel arrangements back from South Wales.

He said: "I am not that sentimental. Who were last year's semi-finalists? It doesn't matter. It matters when you stick your name on a trophy, then we could say what we had achieved.

"Our main target is to win league matches. When you are this close in a cup competition, you don't pick weakened teams, you pick your best team or your strongest team available to go and try to win.

"But I am still very, very conscious of the preparation for Saturday, which is why we are staying over rather than getting back at 5am so the players can get a decent night's sleep.

"They can cool down in South Wales and then they can get themselves back and we will prepare on Friday.

"We want to win every game, and yet realistically you can't win every game. But we will try to win the next game in front of us, which is Swansea."

Having dumped derby rivals Sunderland out of the competition at the Stadium of Light in the last round, a trip to the Liberty Stadium - Boro's 12th successive League Cup tie on the road - holds no particular fears.

However, Mowbray is well aware of the quality at opposite number Michael Laudrup's disposal.

He said: "I have to say this Swansea team is a pretty special football team with the ball, they are very, very good.

"To go to the Emirates and win 2-0 and out-pass Arsenal as they did is quite a feat, so we have total respect for what they do.

"I don't know what the betting is, but I can only imagine today, if you are a betting man, I am sure Swansea are pretty odds-on favourites to get through.

"And yet if we were sitting here playing Bradford at home tomorrow night we would be pretty odds-on as well and you could be almost talking past that game to a semi-final.

"But I won't allow the players or my mind to get anywhere near any semi-finals because we have got Swansea City, who have just beaten Arsenal and West Brom, away.

"I have watched them and they have got some good players, so we will need to be at our very, very best to try to progress."

Don't miss any live and exclusive football coverage this festive season. Click here to visit Sky Sports' Festive Calendar

Related News

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e was right to leave, but not just because of the money City were coming into. If I remember rightly he had a reasonable amount of chances to shine at City, but he never passed the bloody ball. Loads of aimless dribbles and 40 yard shots and not much else. I would say that if he had learnt to be a bit more of a team player he may have done better at City.

bright and edgy
Sturridge: Right to leave City

O

h! And.... has it gone in!?' Well John, it is quite literally your job to tell me, so stop phrasing it as a question.

ajsr1982
Eye On The Experts: John Motson

M

an who resembles bond villain complains about spies ....brillliant

mrjackson
Palace deny spying accusation

Footer 365

Premier League: Peter Whittingham refusing to give up on Cardiff's survival bid

Peter Whittingham believes there is still all to play for as Cardiff City scrap to secure their Premier League status.

Premier League: David de Gea wants European football at Manchester United

David de Gea says Man United are determined to ensure that they will be competing in European competition next season.

Premier League: Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini stands by selection

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini insists he has no regrets about starting Vincent Kompany at Liverpool on Sunday.

Mail Box

Worried Liverpool Will Become A Selling Club

Liverpool fans in the mailbox are not too worried about sour grapes from United supporters, but one admits he's scared the Reds could end up selling their best players...

United Should Have Gone For Bruce And Hughes

A mailbox asking why United did not go for two old boys over Moyes, what Wenger's targets were for the season and whether he's had a better season than Pellegrini..?

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property