Date:Wednesday October 25 2006
Blackburn Rovers boss Mark Hughes is hoping that the Carling Cup tie with Chelsea tonight can be decided before the dreaded penalty shoot out…in our favour of course!
We have been involved in an amazingly high number of penalty incidents this season with a massive eight spots kicks already given in games which we have played! Even more remarkable is the fact that only one of these penalties has been converted, ironically against one of tonight's possible opponents Frank Lampard, yet Brad Friedel even got a hand to that!
Friedel has saved three penalties, the first from Kanu against Portsmouth in the opening day 3-0 defeat and two in one game from David Unsworth and Rob Hulse as we drew 0-0 with Sheffield United. The other goalkeeper to save a penalty for Rovers is Jason Brown; having replaced the injured Friedel at half time he saved Svetoslav Todorov's spot kick in our 2-1 win over Wigan Athletic.
As we all know Benni McCarthy and Jason Roberts missed both our spot kicks against Bolton Wanderers on Sunday with Lucas Neill missing our first, sandwiched between the two missed by our opponents in the game with Sheffield United.
Let's hope we can give Hughesy something to smile about tonight as he celebrates 100 games in charge.
"I'll be getting twitchy if it goes to penalties," said Hughes as regards to a possible penalty shoot out, adding:
"So let's hope it's decided in our favour before then because it could be difficult.
"The guys involved against Bolton have scored many, many penalties in crucial situations before.
"I scored plenty of goals but never wanted to take a penalty. I took two - missed and scored once for Chelsea.
"Thankfully, we have Brad Friedel in goal and he has been outstanding."
So Hughes has confirmed that Friedel will start the game tonight so Brown will again have to wait patiently in the wings.
We are no stranger to penalty shoot outs in this tournament either, the last time we faced Chelsea we crashed out 4-1 after a penalty shoot out with the game drawn 1-1, Chelsea coming back from 1-0 down. The season before last we were dumped out by lower League Bournemouth 7-6 on penalties after throwing away a lead in a game that ended 3-3 after extra time in Hughes' second game in charge.
PLEASE don't put us through the agony of anther penalty shoot out lads! The only time I like the drama of extra time and penalties is when Rovers (or England) win and this hasn't happened that often for either during my lifetime…
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Date:Wednesday October 25 2006
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