Date:Sunday May 6 2007
Goals from strike due Benni McCarthy and Jason Roberts saw Blackburn Rovers to a 2-0 victory over Newcastle United on Saturday but the defensive pairing at the heart of the back four have earned Mark Hughes' praise.
In truth Rovers were comfortable for the most part of the match against a poor Newcastle side devoid of ideas and seemingly happy to get this season out of the way, but nevertheless what the £30 million strike partnership of Obafemi Martins and Michael Owen threw at Rovers central defensive partnership of Ryan Nelsen and Christopher Samba was dealt with, and dealt with well.
Speaking on the official Blackburn Rovers website Hughes said:
"We were excellent, I thought the guys at the back were rock-solid.
"Chrissy Samba and Ryan Nelsen dealt just with everything they had to and when they saw the opportunity to break out themselves they did that as well.
"We had a great platform in which to counter-attack and win the game."
Hughes didn't forget his strikers though, and had praise for McCarthy, who soldiered on with a back injury after notching his 22nd of the season.
"He's done excellent," added Hughes.
"In fairness he was struggling at half-time, he got a real bang on his back and I was going to make a change at half-time but he wasn't prepared to come off.
"He wanted to give it a go and he lasted a good twenty-odd minutes after that so I think that shows how keen he is to work hard for the team and be a team player."
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Date:Sunday May 6 2007
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