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The Important Week Has Begun

The Important Week Has Begun

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
Time: 11:47PM


Everton at the weekend was a massive blow as they are in the pack with us chasing down the likes of Bolton, Reading and Portsmouth. I'm still confident about the UEFA and FA Cup's though but defeat in both (obviously over two legs in Europe) and we'll have a VERY tough challenge ahead of us to make it into the top 5 or 6 this term as it will be tough anyway but with the Cup's taken away heads could very well drop.
Hughes Da Man
11/02/2007 23:50:00
Our performance against Everton wasn't too bad... Their back 4 played brilliantly and the only difference between the teams was Andy Johnson's early strike. Remember we were away and Goodison is never easy to get results... by the end of next week we could be in for a poor run in or we could be looking to move forward... that's football!
Ex Ewood Resident
12/02/2007 09:04:00
Indeed an important week. In my opinion I'd rather try our best in UEFA+FA cup rather than the EPL- simply bacause I dont believe we can achieve something there. Still think that besides our lack of luck we need another decent players: DR: I'd like to see Chris Baird (or Bardsley), as a cover for Emerton. MC: Either Giles Barnes or Danny Murphey would help since Tugay is nearly finished. FC: Have to go for Earnshaw- the best champ' striker. Also- need a new GK for the future- Brad is nearing 36!- How about Kelvin Davis? {Obviously I suggest those for the summer when the window's open}
12/02/2007 10:11:00
I think I agree, we have a better chance with the UEFA and FA Cup's but the League is still very possible. Still think we'll win the UEFA Cup you know! That's the problem though isn't it, Earndshaw best Championship striker but is he Premiership quality? I'm quitely happy with the strikers we have and with Garner and Di Vita hopefully coming through also things are looking OK. You don't rate Jason Brown then IsraeliRover? Kelvin Davis, good keeper but he's got to be 30 or thereabouts now?!?!
Hughes Da Man
12/02/2007 12:16:00
The table is much more open so every game is vital. A couple of wins and you can shoot up the table but a couple of losses it's season over and just pride to play for.
12/02/2007 12:17:00
Ex-Ewood, were you at the game on Saturday? Both teams were very poor. They should've been 4-6 goals up at half time. Due to are loss of central Mid & left wing, We had no middle and no Wing due to Bents sitting in the middle. Emerton ran like a steam train, however usually into the sleepers! and the two front boys couldn't put there foot on the ball! Dunny's challenge was a bad one perhaps he's trying to hard to impress?
12/02/2007 12:29:00
Yeah it was drab in every sense of the word at the weekend, and it would appear that injuries are cathcing up with us. However, I would have gladly taken defeat on Sat if it means we can claim wins on wednesday and sat. We will have to wait and see. Let's hope this time next week we are still very much involved in two cup comps!
12/02/2007 16:59:00
I'll second your thoughts roversman.
Hughes Da Man
12/02/2007 23:08:00
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