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O’NEILL 1 MOWBRAY 2

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TONY MOWBRAY overcame Martin O’Neill in the battle of the former Celtic bosses as he guided Blackburn to a 2-1 win at Nottingham Forest.

It was the Ewood Park side’s first away win since January and all but killed off the ex-Republic of Ireland gaffer’s hopes of a play-off place.

O’Neill, who was in charge of the Hoops for five years after arriving in 2000, speaking to the BBC, said: “There are a number of areas to address in the summer. But you talk about Nottingham Forest and it is a lovely club, a great club.

“We have not been in the top flight for 20 years and I do not want this to be symptomatic of things.

“The play-offs are a distance away and we cannot talk about that any more. Now we will see what we have about us.

“Everyone will get a chance to show what they can do and we will get ready for next season.”

Mowbray, who lasted only nine months at Parkhead following his disastrous appointment in June 2009, said: “We have our own ambitions, which we have fallen away from in the last two months.

“We have to strengthen and add depth for next season. If a key player gets injured, we want to have cover for him, as we move forward.

“We feel as though we have let ourselves down a bit over the last two months, because we were on the cusp of the play-offs.

“But, for the last 11 games, we had won one match. We had a soft underbelly and were letting too many goals go in. We needed to acclimatise back in the Championship, with practically the same team that played in League One.”

Joe Rothwell and Danny Graham were the Rovers marksmen with Ryan Yates getting the home side’s consolation.

O’Neill will now take his City Ground outfit to Bramall Lane for a Good Friday fixture against promotion-chasing Sheffield United.

Mowbray’s men are on their travels again as they take on Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road. The Lancashire side are currently only five points ahead of the struggling Londoners with both teams having played 42 games.

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Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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