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Football: MOGGA DEAL JOY; Boro legend bags extension as Brom boss CHAMPIONSHIP FOOTBALL.

WEST BROM boss Tony Mowbray and assistant manager Mark Venus can celebrate their new contract extensions by adding to Bryan Robson's troubles.

Boro legend "Mogga" Mowbray has committed his future to the Baggies until June 2011 while his sidekick Venus, from Hartlepool, has signed a new 12-month rolling deal.

The management duo have become firm fans' favourites since arriving at The Hawthorns from Hibernian in October 2006.

After guiding the Baggies to the Coca-Cola Championship play-off final last season, scoring 100 goals in the process, the pair successfully re-modelled the squad in the summer and Albion are again challenging for a return to the Premier League and currently occupy the second automatic promotion place.

The Baggies entertain Robson's struggling Sheffield United side tonight with the Blades desperately needing to win to take the heat off the former Boro boss.

He was the subject of a fans' demonstration on Saturday after United were held at home by Scunthorpe.

West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace was delighted to tie his management duo to long-term deals, saying: "We're delighted both Tony and Mark have signed their new contracts. The new deals are just reward for their efforts over the past 16 months.

"We believe Tony is one of the brightest managerial prospects around and we're really pleased to have secured his services for a further three-and-a-half years.

"It's been no surprise to us that Tony's name has been linked with jobs at a higher level.

"It's up to us to make sure we keep him focused and motivated, which we've moved to do by offering him this contract and giving him the platform to bring success here.

"The relationship between the chairman and manager is the most important in any football club and we enjoy a good one.

"Tony is a pleasure to work with and his brand of football has been a joy to watch.

"He has a great partnership with Mark, who has proved to be a key part of the team.

"We're all now focusing on trying to achieve our long-term goal of establishing this club in the Premier League."

Mowbray said: "I'm delighted to sign this deal.

"I've enjoyed the challenge of the last 16 months of trying to get the club back to where we all feel it belongs.

"We've got 15 big league games ahead of us now and it's important everyone connected with the club pulls together to achieve the same goal.

"The club has shown faith in what we're trying to achieve by offering us these deals and, with the continued backing of the board, we will strive to continually improve the football club."

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IT'S IN THE BAG: Boro legend Tony Mowbray has committed his future to managing the Baggies until 2011
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Feb 12, 2008
Words:458
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