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

18th - 24th Sept 06



18th - 24th Sept 06
Blackburn Journals Monday 18th - Sunday 24th September 2006

Monday 18th September 06
It has taken five games, but finally we have recorded our first win of the season. Things can only get better I feel and it is early days. This win took us from rock bottom to twelfth so it shows that there is not much in it.

Hughes has spoke of what a huge psychological boost yesterdays win was and how important it was to get the first win. Click Here for Full Article It is also good as the win came at home, where most of the success for last season`s campaign came. He has said that people should not get too excited though. Hopefully this win will settle all nerves, players and fans and things can build from here. We are not even that far from top half as it is very close in the middle. We want to be aiming to get in this top half in the coming weeks, and then they can work on staying there.

During the first half of the Manchester City game, things were a little rocky, being lucky to be 2-2 at half time. Hughes changed things around a little during the second half and the introduction of Shabani Nonda and Aaron Mokoena. Click Here for Full Article They both played big roles in turning the game, with their athletic ability and quick thinking. Nonda looks to be a good signing and hopefully there will be plenty to come from him.

It may have took him five games, but at last Morten Gamst Pedersen finally showed what we already knew he could do by putting in a fine performance and scoring from two free kicks, although one could be given as an own goal to Trevor Sinclair? His confidence will no doubt be boosted and like the rest of the team his performances are getting better.On deadline transfer day, it is reported that we were being lined with Birmingham and former Chelsea striker Mikael Forssell. He is rumoured to want to leave Birmingham as he is only being used as a bit part sub. Perhaps he will leave in January and as if so he has again linked with us, but with the players we`ve got, I feel that perhaps we won`t move for him?

Another player that we are said to be being linked with is Teddy Sheringham. The veteran is currently sixth in the West Ham pecking order and it is thought he wants a move away. Despite being 40, the legendary striker was linked with us during the summer, but opted to stay at Upton Park. Come January though, he might choose to leave due to his lack of first team action. I feel his experience alone could benefit us, if nothing else and he has proved that he still has a few goals left in him. Click Here for Full Article

As well as Teddy, Chris Sutton has also been linked with a return to Ewood. He is also being monitored by Aston Villa and a third unknown club. Fans will remember the famous 'SAS` partnership he had with Alan Shearer back in the nineties. Sutton has just recovered from a groin injury after being released by Birmingham.

Tuesday 19th September 06
The departure of Mark Hughes former team mate Bryan Robson at West Brom has seen Hughes` assistant Mark Bowen linked and put on the West Brom replacement shortlist. Obviously we do not want to lose him and realistically I don`t think we will as there are many high profile managers already being linked with the club. Click Here for Full ArticleIt is always good to see that players have a heart and do not forget where they came from. Mamadi Keita. He made his first return trip to Guinea to link up with old childhood friends and has contributed fees to schoolchildren, and hospital care for the elderly. He also organised a charity match and also bought two sets of shirts, boots etc for his old mates. What a nice bloke, we could do with more people like that.

Stephane Henchoz is looking forward to getting his chance in the first team once he gains full fitness. At Liverpool he was one of the most consistent defenders in the Premiership. No doubt he is a little older and does not have the same pace, yet hopefully we can look upon that as a plus and see him as an even more mature presence. With Ryan Nelsen out for a while, perhaps he can force his way in sooner than later. Click Here for Full Article

Tonight saw the airing of the controversial Panorama Undercover: Football's Dirty Secrets. Allegations are that Portsmouth`s Harry Redknapp illegally tapped up Andy Todd. Well like millions, including Hughes I watched the programme and got to say what they got on Redknapp is pathetic. Fair enough, Redknapp should not have spoke about Todd, but all he said was that he`s a hard b*****d and that he would have him in his team. I can`t see anything coming of it and we do not need to worry about it as we have done nothing wrong of course.Morten Gamst Pedersen feels that we should be challenging for Europe again this campaign. Sunday`s 4-2 victory over Manchester City was our first win and a step in the right direction. Despite the first half`s not so convincing performance, but the second half was promising and Nonda looks as though he can do well for us, providing great pace and experience. We are definitely heading in the right direction. Click Here for Full Article

Wednesday 20th September 06
Liverpool defender Neill Warnock has admitted (as if we didn`t know!) that Hughes tried to sign him as part of a swap deal for Lucas Neill. Hughes does not want to sell Neill but, knew that if Neill was to go that he would want to get the best deal and cover possible.

After being linked with a return to us, it has been said that a shock move to bring Chris Sutton back to Ewood will not happen. With the likes of Benni McCarthy, Jason Roberts, Shabani Nonda and Francis Jeffers in contention for a starting place it is thought that Sutton will not again be a Rovers player.

Thursday 21st September 06
How quick the weeks fly by. Was a week ago today that we had that 2-2 draw away at Salzburg. We face them again next Thursday for the second-leg but this time we have the home advantage and John Williams believes the Ewood Park crowd could make all the difference. He has commented about how fans want the club in Europe but the support is not there.He believes this to be a case of the fans not being able to afford the extra games so tickets for season holders are free, with the hope that will provide a good 13,000 from these free tickets alone. The rest of the tickets are to be reasonably priced so hopefully there should be a large turnout of home support for the clash. No doubt Rovers will cash in on advancing in Europe but William`s claims that it is success the club are after and not money. Let`s hope we do well. Click Here for Full Article

This week has seen the start of the Carling Cup. As we are in the UEFA Cup, we do not need to come into the competition until the third round Click Here for Full Article, giving us a rest bite. We will find out on Saturday who we are going to face.

There has been some good news about Jason Roberts being on the verge of coming back for Thursday`s UEFA Cup second leg against Salzburg. He will not be available against Middlesbrough on Saturday but there is a strong possibility of a return in a week`s time. Click Here for Full ArticleThere has been more talk about the bungs allegations that are flying round. There is currently an FA investigation taking place about allegations about Harry Redknapp trying to tap up Andy Todd. If any evidence of corruption is to be found, they will recognise their responsibilities and act upon it. I have given my views on this and feel there is nothing to it but obviously it`s not down to me is it!

Friday 22nd September 06
Mark Hughes has spoke of how Andy Todd is still to feature in his future plans. Despite his agent Peter Harrison telling Redknapp that he wanted to leave, Hughes has stated that Todd will not be going anywhere any time soon. Click Here for Full Article

We`ve got a big game against Middlesbrough coming up tomorrow and we will be searching for our second and consecutive win of the season. We will of course still be without Ryan Nelsen and Jason Roberts, but we hope to have him back for Thursday and finally Steven Reid because of his back injury. There are also doubts with Andy Todd and Francis Jeffers. Obviously we do not want injuries but there will be a chance for others to prove themselves which could benefit us in future games. Click Here for Full ArticleIt is good to see that we have been picking up pace in the league now, but Hughes insists there has been no anxiety in the team at all despite one stage being rock bottom. No doubt a win tomorrow will see us move even further, perhaps top half. Click Here for Full Article People have had high hopes after qualifying for European last season in sixth place. We are now heading in the right direction and there is still a long way yet to go and I am sure things can only get better.

Brett Emerton has said that he has had no regrets at turning down a summer move to Middlesbrough. He feels we have a great manager and it was an easy decision to make as he did not want to leave and he has no reason to, especially with the success of last season.

Hughes has been defending his decision of giving Lucas Neill the captains armband since Andy Todd has been out as some people feel he is not worthy because his reluctance to sign a new contract. Hughes feels he has great drive and determination and judges him by what he does on the field which is always professional. As long as he continues to do a good job, I have no problem with him being captain. Click Here for Full ArticleSaturday 23rd September 06
Another match day is finally upon us as we face Middlesbrough. Hughes has spoke of his sympathy for his opposing manager making the step from player to manager. Hughes did the same at International level, making the move from player to Wales coach. He feels it can be just as for the players as the coach as one minute they are playing alongside you and then they are working for you. Hughes believes that Southgate has what it will take to eventually succeed. Click Here for Full Article

We have played and we have won. This is our first away win of the season and makes it two wins on the trot. I like Hughes wish Southgate well as a manager, but am glad he did not get a result against us. Nonda scored the only goal of the game and it is good to see him getting off the mark in a Rovers shirt. I am sure he has a lot to give for us. Click Here for Full ArticleHughes has spoken of his delight with today`s victory, giving praise for Andre Ooijer who he felt was commanding in defence. Hughes has backed Ooijer since his rocky start and he has been repaid for having faith in his ability when many doubted him. Click Here for Full Article Well done Ooijer and keep up the good work.

The Carling Cup draw was made today and we have been drawn against Premiership Champions Chelsea. What a match this will be, but like most people, I would not have liked a giant clash like this so soon. Yet to be the best you`ve got to beat the best, so got to face the best out there at some stage. Click Here for Full Article

Sunday 24th September 06
It`s a quiet day today as nothing appears to be happening in the world of Blackburn Rovers. Am still pleased with yesterdays win and believe we can definitely build upon that and am confident of progressing in Europe next week.

Our former player however Craig Short is backing his former Everton team mate to rebuild his career at Ewood Park. Craig said that Jeffers reminds him of Robbie Fowler in his heyday and that Jeffers is at a club where the coaching is first class. Short has always thought that Jeffers is a good player, but feels he left to go Arsenal for big money too soon. He thinks he still has the hunger and the ability to do well and let`s hope that he is right.
The Journalist

Writer: Walker Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday September 28 2006

Time: 12:19AM

 

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