April 23, 2024

Tony Mowbray takes against his previous team Sunderland with Birmingham City for the first time, and his successor has spoken.
Sunderland will pay tribute to former boss Tony Mowbray before of their match against Birmingham City, admits Michael Beale.

Mowbray was removed of his duties as Black Cats manager in December and was succeeded by Beale. Beale had previously managed Rangers before being fired in September, and his previous managerial experience in England came at Queens Park Rangers before joining Sunderland.

For the first time since leaving Wearside, he will face his former team. Birmingham host Sunderland at St Andrew’s, and this might be an opportunity for the visiting fans to express their gratitude to Mowbray, who took over from Alex Neil, who guided them to League One play-off triumph.

“Firstly, I don’t think Tony has anything to prove to the Sunderland fans or people here,” Beale told our Sunderland Echo friends.

“I believe our fans will show their class, and he didn’t get a chance to say goodbye, so that’s natural, and then we’ll play the game.”

“It’s Sunderland versus Birmingham, a massive game. I believe the niceties will be observed, and then it will be up to us to go there and get a result. Every team in the league has something to play for.

Birmingham may have a minor advantage on Saturday because Mowbray previously managed Sunderland until December. He will have played a role in recruiting some of their players and motivating them to make the playoffs last season.

 

Tony Mowbray sacked by Sunderland amid behind-the-scenes disagreement with  board

 

Sunderland hasn’t made any significant alterations to the squad that Mowbray helped build since his quit. Leo Hjelde joined from Leeds United, while Romaine Mundle and Rhys Walsh came from Standard Liege and Glentoran, respectively. Callum Styles came on Deadline Day from Barnsley on a season-long loan until the end of the season, and he was a reported target for Birmingham last month.

Sunderland has only had two permanent departures: Alex Pritchard to Birmingham and Josh Robertson to Brighton & Hove Albion. Several players, including Jewison Bennette, Jay Matete, Eliezer Mayenda, and Nectarios Triantis, left on loan to Aris Thessaloniki, Oxford United, and Hibernian.

“I think we’ll find out after the game,” Beale said when asked if Mowbray knew the opposition.

It’s clear that he knows our players. Maybe there will be one or two that have a point to prove to him.

“What I would say is there is a lot of respect for Tony Mowbray here at Sunderland and I think the fans will show that and I think the players will show that to him and the staff who worked with him.”

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