Date: 18th June 2009 at 9:06am
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In just 24 hours new Celtic boss Tony Mowbray has shown he knows how to use words to inspire fans far more than Gordon Strachan ever did.

Mowbray has said his aim as a manager is to recreate the football played by some of the best technical sides in the world – such as Spain and Barcelona – and that the only way this can be achieved is through hard work on the training ground.

After being unveiled as the new boss, Mowbray stressed he wants to build a team that can compete at all levels and is respected throughout Europe as well as Scotland. After four years of cringeworthy interviews by the previous incumbent, Mowbray’s vision was a joy to hear.

Mowbray said: “I would like to build a team that can compete at all levels. I would like to build a team that is not only feared and respected in the Scottish game but also feared and respected in Europe. And that is a process you’ve got to build.

“I like to think I’m a student of the game, I watch a lot of European footballers and yet there are teams that can punch above their weight in Europe and I think Celtic do financially.

“There are some major, major powers in the game now with major resources and what this football club has to do – and I’ve got to try and help – is put together a football team that can punch above its weight on the European stage.

“I need inspiring as well as the supporters need inspiring – and when I watch teams like that when I watch Spain, when I watch Barcelona and when I watch great technical players and teams, I try to recreate that if possible.

“What I’m saying is the best football teams are a unit and a group of individuals who understand their role within the team, and that’s only achieved out on the training ground and with the demands you put on them day-in-day-out.”

Of course, it’s easy to talk the talk but Mowbray showed with West Brom that he knows a thing or two about playing decent football – though, hopefully, Celtic will also be able to get results to go along with the performances; there would be some irony in the new manager had Celtic playing well but not winning, the exact opposite of the past four seasons.

So a good start, lots of work to do between now and the end of the season, and it will be interesting to see just how Mowbray and his new team fit in at Parkhead. Celtic paid around £2million to West Brom to secure Mowbray, who has signed a 12-month rolling contract, and he’ll know he will have to start repaying that faith (or expense!) fairly quickly.

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