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Wednesday, 18 February 2009 18:39

Mowbray: Teixeira must remain patient

WBA boss admits to “conundrum” with Portuguese

TeixeiraWest Bromwich Albion manager Tony Mowbray admits it is proving difficult to get Filipe Teixeira back up to full speed following his return to fitness, but believes the Portuguese must remain patient.

The former Academica man spent several months out injured last year, and has suffered minor niggles since recovering.  Having impressed during the early stages of his WBA career, Teixeira is keen to re-establish himself at the Hawthorns, but Mowbray has found it difficult to justify giving him the minutes needed at the possible expense of the team in their fight against relegation.

However, Teixeira appeared to edge himself closer to a first-team place with his substitute performance against Newcastle last week. "We changed things a little bit at half-time against Newcastle and the team had more forward thrust," said Mowbray. "Filipe contributed to that, of course.

"I've had a few good chats with Fil. He's still on a path back to where he should be psychologically after an injury and needs opportunities to play, which is what we've discussed.

"But the team must come first and he understands that. I don't feel he's at maximum yet. It's very difficult for me to stick him in the team from the start. It's a bit of a conundrum, really, as to when to put him in and leave him out. When he did come on against Newcastle, he made an impact. I think he's got to be patient and bide his time for whenever that opportunity comes.

"To be at your best confidence-wise, you've got to have positive memories in your mind. You get confidence from remembering all the great things you've done and you have to build up your belief with your own imagery. You get that by playing games.

"If I've got a choice of a (Chris) Brunt or Kim (Do-Heon), who've been playing, and Filipe, who I don't think is quite ready, it's difficult to start him. But coming on for 45 minutes and doing well helps his cause.

"I think Fil probably now feels he's ready. He's trained very, very well some days and I've come off the training pitch and said 'I think you're ready' because he's been like a little dynamo.

"Yet it's a lot different on a big pitch, 11 versus 11, in the Premier League compared to a seven-a-side training game. I still feel he's got that little bit to go. To be fair to him, he's very professional and he accepts it. His time might be coming - we'll have to wait and see."

By Sean Gillen

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