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Hopes of keeping Neill disappearing!

Hopes of keeping Neill disappearing!

Any lingering hopes Blackburn Rovers fans might have held out for the club being able to retain the services of Lucas Neill beyond his contract at least seem to be disappearing.

Currently away on International duty with Australia the current Rovers captain has reaffirmed his previous intentions on wanting to leave the club. When speaking at in a press conference in Australia in which he was unveiled as the Aussie captain for their upcoming match with Paraguay Neill said:

"I was linked to Liverpool most famously, and no player in their right mind would not want the opportunity to go to a club like that with so much history and prestige.

"The deal that was presented to the club at the time from Liverpool was not in Blackburn's best interests, therefore I didn't have a say and I didn't move on."

It was no secret that Neill was disappointed in not gaining the move he so desired to Anfield but he has been very professional in his attitude to Rovers since then which is high commendable.

He would go on to reiterate his desire to leave the club however, be this in January when the transfer window re-opens or in the summer when he can walk away for free:

"It's unfortunate for my career that it didn't go that way, but as a professional I have to move on.

"But now I'm hopefully in just as good a position when those opportunities present themselves again in January, or if not then, I'll get a free transfer in June."

Having been given the Australian captaincy as a result of Newcastle United's Craig Moore's no show (the defender is said to have missed his flight to Brisbane, therefore missing a training session so he has been handed a one match ban by Aussie coach Graham Arnold) Neill would say this of his selection as national captain:

"It's a dream come true ... and I will be fighting hard not to give the armband back."

So there you have it, the situation seems to have not changed at all, be it agent influence or whatever, no extended UEFA Cup run, high League position etc. seems enough for Neill to remain at Ewood Park, his mind is made up that his career is best suited with another club, which I'm sure, as painful as it is to hear most people can understand...

Neill will continue to give his all for Rovers, and although in light of these latest comments, and what we already knew many will want him out in January I'm sure that Mark Hughes will fight to retain his service until the end of the season, unless he gets a VERY good offer in January.

Although he'll be missed I still feel Rovers have full-back options available. If Brett Emerton is retained at right-back Rovers still have plenty of left sided options without having to buy, they have Michael Gray (who I think will leave in the summer anyway though), James McEveley, Andy Taylor, Michael Kane and another youngster in Swedish star Martin Olsson.

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Date:Friday October 6 2006
Time: 11:51AM

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will be a badly missed player for you if he goes ... really hope you can keep hold of him !!!
06/10/2006 12:01:00
If he stays after again publicly reiterate his desire to leave I'd be amazed. He'll carry on doing a job but he looks to be really pushing for a move in January. A move away might not be as appealing as it looks once it happens, especially to Liverpool? He'll be replaced easier than some people think, sure he's quality but one player doesn't make a team. Rovers have a long list of alternatives that could eventually match, if not better him, if indeed they aren't almost equal already?
Hughes Da Man
06/10/2006 12:05:00
Good riddance to him, if he wants to leave so badly - let him. He is a good player (not great) and will be hard to replace but Hughes needs to move forward and line up a replacement for January and let him go. Emerton is doing well at the moment in his usual role and we still have Gray.
06/10/2006 12:47:00
No one player is bigger or better than a team are they! Good points Wellsy, hopefully we'll hear more from you down the line?
Hughes Da Man
06/10/2006 13:17:00
Hughes Da Man - why do you think Mikey Gray will leave in the summer - hasn't he just extended his contract?
Ex Ewood Resident
06/10/2006 13:33:00
I do believe Bellamy was harder to replace, as was said Emerton is playing well at riteback and Zurab may need a new position when Nelsen is back in the team and can play well there, as proved for Rangers. On the left McElvey is playing well for the Reserves at the min and there's always Taylor as well, Gray can leave he's ok, but nothing special, time to bring in the kids, will save on wages as well.
06/10/2006 14:45:00
It was only a one year extension in the summer wasn't it? If Gray isn't in the side, at his age I don't think he'll sign a new deal, if he is even offered a new one at the end of this season, if in actual fact his contract does end in June or July?
Hughes Da Man
06/10/2006 15:39:00
There are plenty of options at left back aren't there Clint, and so many of these are the kids which have to be used at some point, so why not now, let Gray help ease them into the team (if Hughes is angered enough by Neill's latest outburst he'll drop him.)
Hughes Da Man
06/10/2006 15:41:00
I think Neill should be dropped, I know he's a good player but if he wants to leave then the team may as well start playing without him now!! Get the players that want to play for the clubin the team now as I think he'll leave in Jan. I think its the wrong way to go to play a player that has publically said he wants to leave -as good as he is. Its time to get tough with Neill, jsut to prove that when he leaves he will be replaced like anyone else
06/10/2006 16:04:00
Quality footballer, but as I've said before no one man is bigger than a club, maybe he should be left to suffer for a bit before he does move on?
Hughes Da Man
06/10/2006 16:28:00
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