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Roberts a Key Factor in UEFA Push

Roberts a Key Factor in UEFA Push

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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Writer:Walker
Date:Friday April 20 2007
Time: 12:59AM

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Comments

0
The Roberts - McCarthy partnership looks as though it could really come off. It showed early signs of promise before JR's injuries but the last couple of games has really seen it bare fruition and Roberts look every inch the player I KNEW he was when we signed him.
Hughes Da Man
20/04/2007 01:02:00
0
It looked great in the first home match v Everton. Roberts always plays well with a smaller technique based guy next to him as we saw with Camara last season at Wigan. The future does look very bright... If we can make a good start next year then who knows???
MikeyGamst
20/04/2007 09:08:00
0
That's the thing isn't it, we have to learn that the season begins in August, not late September or October! If we do like you say Mikey who knows?!?! IF (that big if!) JR had been fit all season this season again who knows?!?!
Hughes Da Man
20/04/2007 09:21:00
0
Being a humble man, i will come out and say it, i was wrong. As you all know, i have been one of the biggest critics of JR all season. I still believe i was right to criticise this player due to his lack of performance in the past. Whilst this might be due to injury, we did spend a lot of money and it seemed it was a waste. In the last 2 games, Roberts has shown his worth to me. Whilst im not completely saying he is worth the price tag, as time will tell, hopefully at the end of the season he can rack up a few more goals in our push for europe
sasman
20/04/2007 09:42:00
0
HDM, I remeber us chatting about JR earlier in the season and we both agreed that Jase the ace would be Beni's better partner. I still think it is too early for Derbyshire to be a regular this season. I was over the moon for Roberts when he scored on Sunday - I think he is quality. I know we have an outside chance of europe next season, but roll on next year when everyone is fit - I may be biased but I think we are the best team outside of the big four, along with Spurs.
Wellsy
20/04/2007 10:32:00
0
It may seem a lot sasman but this is only because we got Benni so cheap, how the HELL we got him for £2.5 million I still don't know! For the rest of this, and next season you'll see something special.
Hughes Da Man
20/04/2007 10:42:00
0
if we get our players back for a long run, cos lets face it everyone gets injuries, and sort out our away form I would say that Wellsy ur rite, in terms of consistantly being in or around the top 6- 8 in the league its us and Spurs and prob the dreaded Bolton as well. But with Roberts and McCarthy fit next season we will have a strike force that all the teams in the league will fear, add this to the ( hopefully ) beefed up central midfield, two of the best wingers in Europe let alone England, a very compact, competent back 4 and Brad in nets we have a very good team capable of playing top quality footabll and beating anyone on our day, not that im biased in anyway lol
Clint
20/04/2007 10:43:00
0
I remember Wellsy, we both MORE than agreed that JR was the man. As much as I rated Derbs then, and as much as I liked him (and still do now on both counts) I was happy to say that I though JR was the perfect partner for Benni so would pick him over Derbs. JR could, and will play alongside Derbs also next season and the pair will do well. Pound for pound, when all are fit, add a few more players and we are as good, if not better than EVERYONE else (outside the top four as you say Wellsy) in this League, not a million miles away from the top four though.
Hughes Da Man
20/04/2007 10:46:00
0
Outside of the top two, and arguably top four if honest there isn't much between half a dozen or so clubs is there really. Rovers along with Everton, Bolton, Portsmouth, Tottenham, Reading, Aston Villa & maybe Newcastle (if they change the manager!) will ALL be pushing hard for places behind the top four next season. I WOULDN'T be surprised though if one of these sides did go and break the strangle hold the top four have on this League though, tough as it will be.
Hughes Da Man
20/04/2007 10:52:00
0
Lets start strong next season.... the last 2 seasons we could of finished higher if we has started stronger... we have been near the relegation zone right up until October/November....
MikeyGamst
20/04/2007 11:11:00
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