Date:Friday April 20 2007
Having endured a season of injury frustration and a fight to dislodge Matt Derbyshire, Blackburn Rovers striker Jason Roberts is finding form when it really matters, and Mark Hughes feels this could see him become a key player in our push to qualify for next seasons UEFA Cup.
Roberts earned a recall to the starting line-up against Chelsea in the FA Cup Semi Final (which I have to admit did surprise me) and put in a fine performance as well as scoring his first Rovers goal. He followed this up with another goal against Watford in midweek and yet another fine performance.
Hughes is now looking to Roberts to prove the difference in our European push, he said:
"Jason has looked stronger and more on top of his game every day in training.
"He is beginning to look like the player I was so keen to bring to the club.
"Jason is a big guy and it took him a bit longer than other players to get fit.
"It has been a long road back for him. When he was available he found the way blocked by the emergence of Matt Derbyshire."
On Roberts' performance against Watford on Wednesday evening Hughes added:
"Jason was unplayable for long spells against Watford.
"He was big, strong and powerful. He always carried a threat.
"Watford's defence could not cope with him. It is just a pity we have missed him for so much of the season."
Couldn't agree more with Hughes, Roberts is a quality, quality footballer, and the idea foil for either Benni McCarthy or Matt Derbyshire.
I've NEVER doubted him and had been surprised when some had, especially when you think he's missed about half a season. If he had been playing you could understand but he hasn't. In fairness even when he had I thought he played OK. Maybe he looked a little rusty when he returned from injury but as Hughes says he's a big guy so it took him a little longer to get fit.
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Date:Friday April 20 2007
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