Date:Sunday February 11 2007
Prior to the Everton game at the weekend Blackburn Rovers boss Mark Hughes said the next three fixtures could have a real bearing on its ultimate outcome.
Three successive away games for Rovers in three different competitions began with a 1-0 defeat to Everton in the Premiership on Saturday and continue with the UEFA Cup trip to Germany to face Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday climaxing with the trip to either the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal or the Reebok to face Bolton Wanderers in the FA Cup fifth round.
Hughes was in high spirits before the Everton game, saying:
"We are in decent shape for the games that we have ahead of us.
"We've got a really important week this week - Everton at the weekend, Europe in midweek and then the FA Cup tie the following Saturday. So in the space of a week, we are playing in three different competitions and we hope to come out of the next seven days in decent shape.
"We've looked at the programme that we have ahead of us - we've got 12 games left in the league and we realistically feel that we can win the majority of them. If we do that then we'll go close to our total of last year.
"It is going to be a big ask because we are asking the players to win more games than they lose or draw. We still have to face a number of clubs around us, with the likes of Bolton, Reading and of course Everton at the weekend. But we are capable of doing that and if we can win at the weekend then it will give us a boost going into the games we've got left."
The Everton defeat was a setback as they are a serious rival for a UEFA Cup placing via the League; but it wasn't critical... Just yet, however arguably a poor showing in Germany could leave us with a mountain to climb to progress in the UEFA Cup, defeat in the FA Cup at the weekend and the season could be almost over. Not that I'm giving up on a UEFA Cup place via the League just yet or contemplating elimination in the Cup's!
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Date:Sunday February 11 2007
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