Tuesday 23 January 2018

Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray saw potential in Burnley striker Chris Wood

Chris Wood could make his debut against Blackburn on Wednesday
Chris Wood could make his debut against Blackburn on Wednesday

Tony Mowbray handed Chris Wood his Premier League debut as a teenager at West Brom so knows all about the qualities which persuaded Burnley to spend £15million on him.

Wood, 25, became the Clarets' record signing when he joined from Leeds on Monday and he could make his Burnley bow against Mowbray's Blackburn at Ewood Park in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night.

Eight years ago Wood and Mowbray were on the same team, the latter unafraid to throw a 17-year-old on at Portsmouth for his top-flight bow despite the fact the Baggies were in the midst of a relegation battle.

Mowbray acknowledges Wood was still a raw prospect but he saw the mental attributes which have led him back to the Premier League, where he is now hoping to make his mark with Blackburn's bitter rivals.

"I was manager when Chris came over from New Zealand - he came over as a young boy but had some talent and was a big-framed boy," Mowbray said.

"There was potential there. He had that physicality about him. He had a single-mindedness to score goals and work hard.

"Y ou have to wait and see when they're young boys like that, it's seeing whether they progress and he obviously has done and he's got the right ingredients to make a good career for himself.

"I think he's a pretty focussed, single-minded lad who carries a work ethic with him, a single-mindedness to want to score goals.

"He uses his physicality, he understands that you have to play between the sticks to score goals. He gets in those areas.

"He's playing his football in a league where the transfers fees are what they are, the Premier League is where he will want to play and only by banging in goals for Leeds United in the Championship has he got those opportunities, and after Wednesday we wish him well."

Press Association

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