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Don't be intimidated by a passionate crowd

Tony Mowbray knows first hand just how big an impact a home crowd can have at The Hawthorns

29 August 2019

Tony Mowbray knows better than most just how much an impact the home crowd at The Hawthorns can have on West Bromwich Albion.

The Rovers boss spent just under three years as Baggies boss, and during that time helped haul the Midlands side into the Premier League.

Last season's ding-dong battle saw Rovers finish the game with 10 men, with Richie Smallwood playing in goal for a chunk of the second half following a gruesome injury to David Raya.

And speaking ahead of the encounter against his old club, Mowbray's warned his side to not get intimidated by the people that used to cheer his own name.

“We go to West Bromwich Albion with the aim of getting a positive result in front of what is a passionate crowd," the boss previewed to iFollow Rovers ahead of the trip south.

"It’s an opportunity for us to go there and play on the front foot and be positive.

“The match last season at The Hawthorns last season had a bit of everything really. They scored from a set play through Craig Dawson.

“We played well I thought and Harrison Reed scored a deserved equaliser for us. We’d made the changes after David picked up and injury and Richie ended up in the net because we’d made the three substitutions.

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“They were throwing everything into the box and Richie was getting a finger on one, bobbling one away, and we managed to hang on to earn a point that we deserved against a good team.

“Let’s see if we can go there this time around and be a better football team and earn a better result.

“We are trying to move the team forward but don’t want to lose the traits of hard work, fight and determination. We want to add an identity to our game."

A lot has changed since the two sides last met on New Year's Day, with West Brom since trading in Darren Moore for Croatian chief Slaven Bilic.

There has also been a large turnover of players coming in and out, with experienced heads Dwight Gayle, James Morrison, Dawson and Jay Rodriguez four to have departed this summer, alongside Tosin Adarabioyo, who returned to Manchester City prior to joining Rovers on loan this summer.

“They have different names on the teamsheet with a few of the older heads no longer there," Mowbray added.

“They have Slaven Bilic in charge now and have a Croatian number 10 who is central to what they do, as well as big [Kenneth] Zahore, who scored against us for Cardiff at Ewood a few seasons ago.

“Apart from that, they’re a real technical team who like to keep the ball and create chances.

"They’ve had some decent results and we know how difficult it is going to The Hawthorns and playing in front of a passionate crowd who will have expectations of getting out of this division this season."


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