Mowbray pays price for football philosophy

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Lisbon Lion Bertie Auld believes Tony Mowbray's unwavering determination to stick to his footballing principles ultimately proved to be his downfall at Celtic.

Mowbray's short reign came to an end after just nine months on Thursday after suffering a shock 4-0 defeat against St Mirren in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

Even in the wake of the defeat at Saints, the former Hoops boss could not resist having a dig at rivals Rangers, accusing them of "negative football".

But Auld said: "It looked as though it was on the cards, with the performances in the last few weeks and the inconsistency. I thought he would have done a great job there but he wouldn't change his ways."

He added: "Everybody loves philosophy but the players dictate the philosophy and the most important thing in his job was the results. I thought he did a marvellous job at Hibs and West Brom but his philosophy also knocked him down at West Brom as well when they got relegated last year."

Mowbray's fate was sealed when he finally lost the backing of the fans after the loss in Paisley, according to Peter Rafferty, President of the Affiliation of Celtic Supporters' Clubs.

The capitulation left Celtic 10-points adrift of Rangers - who have two games in hand - in the SPL and was their heaviest league defeat, outside an Old Firm derby, in 30 years.

Rafferty said: "I don't suppose it has come as any great surprise unfortunately because of the way the results have been going.

"The result was just one result too many for the fans. The manner in which we were defeated didn't go down well at all."

Mowbray's predecessor Gordon Strachan believes the scrutiny Old Firm managers are under is greater than ever.

Recalling Walter Smith's return to Rangers three years ago, he said: "After about six months, he said the big difference was night and day.

He said, 'The whole thing, the media thing is absolutely brutal'. Now we've got internet chat rooms; everything can start rumours that you have to deal with, which we never had before and he said it's changed completely."

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