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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

11th - 17th Sept 06



Monday 11th September 06
We`ve got an important week this week with our UEFA clash against Salzburg. We`ll need everyone at their peak and don`t really want anymore injuries.

Talking of injuries though, Jason Roberts could be an absentee on Thursday`s first leg tie due to injury. He was absent against Sheffield United on Saturday because of a groin injury. He suffered injury in training before the weekend clash with the last kick shooting at goal, how gutting is that. Steven Reid has been out with a slight back injury but is thought that he could be back on Thursday. Click Here for Full Article

David Dunn has been talking about the interest that tried to bring him back to Ewood Park. He is known as a Blackburn fan and has pretty much admitted that he would like to one day be back with us, although a £2m bid was not enough to recapture him. He wants to be nearer home to his family and his little girl, but he has stated that he is totally focused on Birmingham. Maybe we`ll get him in the January perhaps. Click Here for Full Article

Stephane Henchoz has had a run out in the 1-0 reserve game win against local rivals Bolton. Good to see him gaining match fitness and hope to see him featuring for the first team soon.

Tuesday 12th September 06
Former Rovers manager Brian Kidd was being linked with Sunderland, but rejected the chance to team up with Roy Keane. Instead he opted to join with fellow Premier League side Sheffield United. People will remember Brian Kidd taking charge during the 1998-1999 season after the sacking of Roy Hodgson to try salvage the campaign. As a reminder to those who have forgot or rather want to forget, Kidd failed to keep us up and after a bad Division One start, he was to be axed. Still times are better now and I`m sure Hughes will Good news with Ryan Nelsen. He has had his hamstring operation and it appears to have been a success. Hughes thinks that Nelsen will be out for about three months, but believes that he will come back a stronger player, almost like a new player. Click Here for Full Article Hopefully it will all go well. It will be handy having him back around the busy Christmas schedule as we have four matches in just over a week with Arsenal away December 23rd, Liverpool home Boxing Day, Middlesbrough December 30th and Wigan New Years Day. So not too many shandies at Christmas okay lads.

It was good to see Francis Jeffers playing for the reserves against Manchester United which would have done his match fitness the world of good. Unfortunately as we know he got sent off which is not so good. But good news is that after an appeal, the card has been overturned, so he is available for selection for the UEFA tie on Thursday.

Talking of Jeffers, he has been talking about Thursday`s UEFA Cup first leg against Salzburg, which will take place away in Austria on an astroturf pitch. The team set out to Austria this morning in preparation for the clash which will be a challenging match not only because of the artificial surface, but also because Salzburg are top of the Austrian table. Still, Rovers are professionals and should hopefully put in a decent away performance on the astroturf, then we can focus on our home game.Wednesday 13th September 06
Tomorrow will see our first leg UEFA Cup tie against Salzburg and I can`t wait. I have been checking the television schedule and I can`t see it advertised as being televised. But even so, will listen out for the latest. Click Here for Full Article

Hughes has been talking of the big day ahead and how hard everyone has worked to get there and the intention to make the most of it. Hughes wants to be competing at this level year in year out. Hughes went to watch Salzburg over the weekend and has good things to say about them, but believes that we can get a result and the away goals needed to make an easier home tie. Click Here for Full Article

Salzburg are the current Austrian Bundesliga leaders and will by no means be an easy task. Hughes does not want to make an issue of the astroturf pitch and claims the pitch is fine. He also thinks they will become more common. Click Here for Full Article

Shabani Nonda is set for his first start against Salzburg tomorrow. I consider Nonda to be a good signing and I predict good things for the on loan striker. Nonda has spoke of his teenage years growing up in the body littered streets of Burundi. He spoke of decapitated heads on the pitch where he use to play and bodies in the street. Quite traumatic stuff really isn`t it. Click Here for Full Article I hope that his spell with us will be successful for his sake as well as ours. Good luck Nonda.Friedel did us proud during the weekend with them fine penalty saves and a clean sheet. He is hoping he can carry this over into the European tie and backs the team to do better this time round than previous spells in Europe, due to the likes of Benni McCarthy and André Tugay bringing experience. He also thinks that the strategic style of European play will be a welcome change to that of the Premiership.

Thursday 14th September 06
Chilean footballer Jorge Acuna has spoke about his unsuccessful trial at Rovers during pre-season and how he was disappointed that fellow Chilean Mark Gonzalez did not get in touch with him once in the two months he was over here trying to negotiate a deal. He is surprised at his attitude as he considered them to be friends and says that he always cared about him when he was having problems with the national team.

Hughes has spoke about the Salzburg clash and wanting to get one over on their manager Giovanni Trapattoni. Last time they faced each other Hughes was managing Wales and Trapattoni Italy; Italy would dominate in an impressive 4-0 victory. Wales beat Italy in the outing before this and they went into tonight`s tie at one a piece between them. Hughes says that the defeat to Italy still hurts, but he likes Trapattoni and has a lot of respect for him.Well, the match has been played and we have a result. Salzburg took the lead 1-0 after thirty minutes, yet after a short six-minute break due to the lights going out Savage levelled in game terms two minutes later, with McCarthy giving us the lead seven minutes later. We looked set to hold the lead until a late equaliser right at the end. Click Here for Full Article

Friday 15th September 06
Reflecting upon yesterdays UEFA clash with Salzburg, I obviously would`ve preferred the win, but a draw is still a good result and have them two away goals. Just need a good home performance in two weeks time.

Hughes has talked of his frustration at drawing the clash, but is pleased with the away goals they picked up. Salzburg manager Giovanni Trapattoni felt that his team put in a good performance making it an evenly fought match and deserved something from the game. Obviously when Salzburg come to us, they will have to go for it more than us as we have the two away goals and them attacking might give us a chance to attack.

Only a couple of days and we will playing again, against Manchester City. We will be facing our former striker Paul Dickov who left in the summer. He is yet to score in his second spell at City and is hoping to open his account against us Sunday. As many strikers, he`s keen to get one over on his old club and thinks this match has come at a good time for him. However, he still has friends here had good stuff to say about us which is always good to hear. He appears to be a decent chap so good luck with your second stint at City, but don`t go firing against us though. Click Here for Full ArticleHughes has talked about Dickov`s return to face off on Sunday. He is hoping that he doesn`t return to haunt us and is determined to keep him hitting the target. Hughes has only good words to say about him and he did play a big part in keeping us in the Premier League in the first of his two seasons. Hughes did not want to let him go, but he has a strong bond with Manchester City and to be with them is what he wanted. Hughes has also spoken about not yet recording a win. He thinks we are playing better now and once the first three points have been won, everyone will settle and then they can concentrate on having another successful season. Click Here for Full Article

Was good to see Benni McCarthy scoring again yesterday and I think he will provide us with many more goals. He believes though that the best is yet to come from him. He is a little disappointed with his goals return, but I am sure that when he has fully settled and adapted to the English game, more will come from him. He is setting his sights on Champions League football. Hopefully all at Rovers will have the same ambition and turn this dream into a reality. Click Here for Full ArticleSaturday 16th September 06
Well, today has been a quiet day as of Blackburn news. Half the Premiership played today, but we play tomorrow. Click Here for Full Article Hopefully we can record our first win of the season and get the ball rolling.

Paul Gallagher has talked about his first start for Rovers in eighteen months. He was not made aware that he would be starting until about an hour and a half before the match and played on the right-wing due to Steven Reid being out injured, which is not his usual position. But he feels he at least did enough to catch Hughes eye, even if he does go back to bench warming duty. He was out on loan at Stoke last season and the 22-year-old hopes that he can play a role, even if not in his favoured position. Hopefully he can keep putting in good performances if he has his chance and play a good role. That way everyone will pick up their game to fight for their places and things can only get better. Click Here for Full ArticleGallagher is hoping that he can retain his place in the team against Manchester City tomorrow. Talking of the City game, Hughes feels that the first win of the season is not that far away. He has said that the team are playing better and there have been a number of positives in each game since the opening day 3-0 defeat against Portsmouth. He believes that the UEFA clash against Salzburg during midweek has shown a lot of improvement and that the team can carry it over to the City match. I have a feeling that our first win can be tomorrow. It might be scrappy, but I think we can bag them three points and make all the difference to our season so far.

Sunday 17th September 06
Get in there, just the result we were looking for. Was a bit touch and go at times but we won 4-2. Click Here for Full Article I felt a bit bad for Andre Ooijer as he scored an own goal. It came as the result of a deflection. I hope people do not give him too much of a hard time over it as he has had enough stick as it is.

Hughes has come to his defence saying that people have expected him to fit right in immediately. He had a nightmare of a debut against Chelsea and has been quite heavily criticised for his displays of date. I agree with Hughes that it is wrong for people to judge him too soon as there`s only been a few games and he should be given more time to prove himself.Back to the game…good to see Pedersen scoring and also good for Gallagher as he scored too. Gallagher was not able to keep his starting place, being replaced by Jeffers, but was able to score a goal after coming on as a late substitute. Nonda almost got a fifth at the end, but was not to be. It would have been good to see him opening his goal account.

Mark Hughes has spoken of how he was far from impressed with the first half performance today. It looked as though Thursday UEFA Cup tie had caught up with the players and we were lucky to be level at half time. The second half however was a different story and at times it was like a different team. It was how Hughes says they need to be playing if they want to beat the other Premier League teams and it looked as though there were more goals in the players at the end. Hopefully now we`ve got this first win, the belief will be greater in the team and things can get better from here on. Keep up the good work lads. Click Here for Full Article
The Journalist

Writer: Walker Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday September 18 2006

Time: 11:43PM

 

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