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Rovers Ready for Final Furlong

Blackburn Rovers are desperately fighting to gain entry into next seasons UEFA Cup, and although maybe hopes are fading Brad Friedel has fired a warning shot to our rivals that Rovers shouldn't be ruled out.

We currently sit in tenth place, seven points adrift of seventh placed Reading (who currently occupy the remaining automatic qualification spot) but we do have a game in hand on ALL of our rivals, except Tottenham Hotspur, this is our game in hand. This game in hand leaves Rovers VERY MUCH in contention according to Friedel:

"We desperately want to qualify for the Uefa Cup - it's a goal of ours each and every year.

"We're not giving up. If we win our game in hand at Spurs that'll push us up, but we also need to beat Reading."

The fact that we still have to face Tottenham and Reading does mean matters are not entirely out of our own hands, win both of these games (as we have to!) and we are right back in the mix. These two matches are our final two of the season (within four days of each other) but before these we HAVE to beat Charlton Athletic (Saturday) and Newcastle United.

As I say it is within our own hands to an extent, especially if we play the kind of football we know we can but we probably will also need some help along the way, facts Friedel acknowledges. He added:

"We definitely need some help.

"We've played some really good football this season and have played ever so well in the last three games.

"We were desperately unlucky not to win at Fulham last weekend, but we'll keep battling on.

"We've got a game in hand on other teams and we're just going to keep doing our best to get to that seventh spot.

"To get the name of Blackburn out and about in Europe this season was a big thing.

"That's why it's important we get ourselves back into the Uefa Cup for next season so we can continue growing the name of Blackburn Rovers throughout Europe."

We CAN beat all the teams we are still to face, I don't doubt this in the slightest so seventh isn't totally out of reach but an eighth place finish would qualify us for the Intertoto Cup. However, and to be honest I am not sure how true this is it has been suggested that maybe even our current tenth place position COULD be good enough for this?!?!

Some have suggested that neither Portsmouth or Reading have applied for the Intertoto Cup, so if true (proving Spurs finish seventh) should these two clubs finish eighth and ninth, our current tenth place could see us gain this Intertoto Cup spot anyway…


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The Journalist

Writer: Walker Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday April 26 2007

Time: 11:29AM

Your Comments

It would be easy to say we WON'T make it but I'm not taking this route. This coming weekend will be a BIG one though! Things will not be decided but I do think we will have a better idea of our chances, but I do think we'll win. "on paper" I would almost certainly prefer our run in to all the others though. As for the Intertoto Cup theory that tenth could be enough (providing Spurs finish seventh and Reading and Portsmouth finish eighth and ninth) I'm still not convinced. I've not looked into this but I wouldn't have thought neither would have applied? I know Spurs have, Martin Jol said as much recently. But hey why rely on others, let's do it ourselves! All we can do is do our part isn't it though really, keep winning and this should be enough?!?!
Hughes Da Man
I think you might be a bit too far off it to reach the UEFA spots but good luck as long as we make it. I like Blackburn, my mates a die hard!!
matt..shelfsidespurs
Thanks matt..shelfsidespurs. We HAVE to win ALL our games to even have a chance but we'll not give up. The trip to White Hart Lane looks like it could be the decider, possibly for both sides?!?!
Hughes Da Man
It's an intriguing one this year - Reading and Portsmouth have definately not applied, so if we don't make the UEFA spots, then we have to hope Spurs do, which puts us in an interesting position for the game against them (possibly hoping to lose to get into the Intertoto). Newcastle are entered though, and want to finish above us and Reading - They have to play both those teams. Quite simply, to stand any chance at all, we have to win all the matches and hope Spurs slip up, and for the Geordies to beat Reading. For intertoto, we have to win all, but lose to Spurs. Aargh the maths is killing me.
Head Rover Heels
Right so long as Reading and Portsmouth finish above us but behind Spurs and they finish seventh our tenth we see us in, well to the Intertoto Cup anyway!?!?! This is crazy isn't it! It will be even more so if we go into the Spurs game maybe hoping they beat us!
Hughes Da Man
Exactly - With Everton, Bolton, Spurs, Pompey and Reading above us, and the rules for intertoto being "highest side that has applied not in a UEFA spot" we could be in that exact position. Teams that have applied are Bolton, Everton, Spurs, Us, Newcastle, Boro and Fulham. The Geordies are closing fast, and we need to stay ahead of them, but if we don't crawl into a UEFA spot itself, we need Bolton Everton and Spurs to make up the numbers, leaving us as the highest placed non-uefa qualifying intertoto applicant. And breathe ;-)
Head Rover Heels
European hopes fading?!?! I think not! We need others to help us but things look a lot healthier than they did taking these factors into account.
Hughes Da Man
We still have a lot better shot than people are giving us credit for... Game in hand, winnable away games. The Spurs game will be the crunch though so we need some heavy support there. Lets make it happen people, Nelsen for Prime Minister
MikeyGamst
Certainly do have winnable games, and think we will win them all, the Spurs one is the only one I'm not convinced about. A Thursday night game in London is going to make it tough for us to take us much support as we would have on Easter Monday though isn't it.
Hughes Da Man
 

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