Date:Thursday September 28 2006
Having scored his first goal for Blackburn Rovers on Saturday Shabani Nonda insists we've not seen anything yet and he can only get better.
The deadline day capture from Roma on a season long loan move, with a view to a permanent move in the summer opened his account with his header, and the winning goal against Middlesbrough on Saturday. He feels that once he fully adjusts the Premiership he will only get better:
"It's not easy for me. It's too quick, it's too rough, and it's too strong, but I'm trying to get used to it.
"I've played three games now in the Premiership but it's taking me time to get used to the game over here.
"I must also work on my fitness and it could be another two or three weeks before I get to the level I need to be.
His goalscoring record has been well documented, but since his horrific injury with Monaco in 1993 he has not quite been able to recapture his £13 million best form. His time with Roma, which was blighted by injury and lack of first team football, would not have helped:
"I went many days and months without playing in Rome, so it's only now that I'm starting to get my fitness back.
"It's a case of working on my sharpness, then maybe I'll be able to make more of an impact."
Mark Hughes is convinced that Nonda has what it takes to make it in the Premiership, and the early signs are very promising. Once he is up to full speed fitness wise and the pace of the Premiership I for one am sure he'll get somewhere close to his most feared best of a few years ago, although what he has done is in the past, as he would point out himself.
His first goal can hopefully be built upon against Salzburg on tonight, one thing that is certain it would have without doubt boosted his confidence, if indeed that would be needed, although he would be quick to point out that it is not all about him, it is a team effort:
"It was good to score my first goal but for me, the most important thing is the performance of the team.
"The important thing now is to look forwards, not back. What happened on Saturday is forgotten.
"We've now got to make sure we prepare correctly for our next game, which is against Salzburg in Europe."
Very wise words from Chris (the Congolese International prefers to go buy his middle name of Chris as opposed to Shabani) you shouldn't dwell on the past and maybe even live of past glories as so many do, what is important, not only to him but also Rovers is what he does in the future, starting with tonight's crucial UEFA Cup tie!
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Date:Thursday September 28 2006
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