Blackburn Rovers - Hughes : Benni VERY Important
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Hughes : Benni VERY Important

Mark Hughes has moved to back his star striker Benni McCarthy and indicate that the form of Benni McCarthy could prove crucial if Blackburn are to qualify for Europe.

In a public backing of the striker, who has not scored in open play since October, but who did net two penalties against Bolton last Sunday, Hughes believes there are mitigating circumstances for the South African`s patchy form.

McCarthy scored 24 times last season and his performances this have not been as impressive, with the former Porto ace dropped on a number of occasions by Hughes.

"It`s been a difficult season for Benni - there are a number of factors for that," Hughes told Setanta Sports News.

"On occasions he has played well and not scored, on other occasions his form`s dipped and he`s had to go out of the team.

"On other occasions, I`ve played him in different positions which sometimes affects his ability to get into the box.

"His general work is fine though. He comes in every day to training with a smile on his face, he wants to work and we hope he`s going to have a good end to the season because he will be crucial in determining whether or not we qualify for Europe."

McCarthy's enduring value to Rovers was evident when the club disclosed talks with the 30-year-old`s representatives about a new long-term contract for the striker, despite him having over two years to run on the agreement he signed the summer before last.

Rovers have also held preliminary talks over a new contract for the similarly hot-and-cold Morten Gamst Pedersen.

Pedersen, who scored his first league goal in a year for Rovers against Bolton last Sunday, has, like McCarthy, over two years remaining on his current deal but the Norwegian seems ready to commit his future to the Ewood Park club.

'It is a good club, we have good people around us and we have a good squad,' he added.

'They [the club and his representatives] have been talking but we have to see what will happen. I try to focus on my football and let other people do those things.

'I just want to work hard and maybe I deserve what I get.

'I like it here. I have been doing well so hopefully there are going to be some more good years.'

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The Journalist

Writer: Mikey Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday February 29 2008

Time: 11:35AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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As usual I am inclined to agree with the boss.
Report Abuse
29/02/2008 12:19:00

Hughes Knows Best!
Report Abuse
29/02/2008 22:57:00

He does, as we say "in Sparky we trust!"
Hughes Da Man
Report Abuse
01/03/2008 00:04:00

He wasnt the greatest v Newcastle was he but it was a tough game and Benni rarely shines when we are up against it did he???
Report Abuse
01/03/2008 19:49:00

He just needs that goal (from open play), as does Roque and I think he could have a flying end to the season. We need our big players to step up. Great words coming from Gamst also!
Report Abuse
03/03/2008 11:55:00


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