Date:Thursday April 26 2007
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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Date:Thursday April 26 2007
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