Date:Friday September 15 2006
Following Benni McCarthy's goalscoring performance in Thursday's UEFA Cup tie with Salzburg Mark Hughes' backing, as if anyone doubted Benni anyway, was proved fully justified.
Expectations may well be sky high for the highly talented 28-year-old South African International but McCarthy delivered last night, scoring one of Rovers' two away goals as the club drew 2-2 with Salzburg in Austria, Robbie Savage would score the other with a superb free-kick. Mark Hughes would say this when speaking about McCarthy prior to the Salzburg tie:
"Its early days for Benni, to be fair, I feel the expectations are a little too high."
"He has come into a different league, we are only four games in and yet people are expecting him to have a huge impact."
You can understand why expectations are so high, McCarthy is a world-class footballer, however maybe some have expected too much too soon. It always takes time for players to readjust and settle into new countries and surroundings no matter how good they are.
Hughes would also add:
"After scoring goals in pre-season and one in the Premiership, I'm happy with what he is showing at the moment."
"But it will take time, just as it is doing for other big signings at other clubs."
"So I've no worries with regard to Benni McCarthy because he is a quality player, a European Cup winner."
"He'll have an impact at this level and very quickly get stronger as a Premier League player, that's for sure."
I know it is only one goal since Hughes made his comments and we can't get carried away but McCarthy has played well since arriving at Rovers, this can not be doubted but strikers thrive on goals, so all that is needed is a run of goals and you'll not be able to stop him. Although not short of confidence, his strike against Salzburg will almost certainly be a boost to him.
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Date:Friday September 15 2006
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