Mowbray not planning Hibs raids

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New West Brom manager Tony Mowbray has assured Hibernian fans he will not come knocking for his former players.

Mowbray left Easter Road last week to take charge of Championship high-flyers West Brom.

Assistant manager Mark Venus looks set to follow Mowbray south of the border, but fears that several of the players will travel in the same direction have been dismissed.

Steven Whittaker, Steven Fletcher, Scott Brown and Kevin Thomson have all been linked with a possible move to The Hawthorns, but Mowbray is planning to show faith in the squad he has inherited from Bryan Robson.

Mowbray believes the difference in quality between the Scottish Premier League and The Championship would make it unwise for him to raid his former club.

"I have to assess the playing staff already here," Mowbray told the Edinburgh Evening News.

"For instance, Nigel Quashie can't get into the team at present although he is a stick-on for Scotland when he is fit.

"Scott Brown is on the fringes of the Scotland squad, as is Steven Whittaker, and Kevin Thomson can't get near it.

"And yet Quashie can't get into our team. That's not demeaning Scott, Kevin or the two Stevens.

"I know their qualities but out of respect for the squad of players I have at the moment I have to give them time to prove I do not need to go and buy others.

"The players I have inherited do, I believe, have the potential to get back into The Premiership."

Although he refuses to say 'never' Mowbray insisted that no Hibs players would be joining in the near future.

"The Hibs players have long contracts. Kevin, for instance, has three more years and Scott two and a half," he explained.

"Also, there is no need for Hibs to sell any of their players until the time is right for both the football club and the players

"I am not sitting here thinking I am going straight back to Hibs in the (transfer) window. It hasn't even entered my head so the supporters should not have any fears.

"For me Kevin, Scott, and the Stevens, while they have the raw materials to be top-class football players, still need to mature and still have a lot to learn."