Chris Hughton looks back at the 2-0 win over Middlesbrough and ahead to the challenge of Blackburn at Ewood Park tonight...
WE DID VERY well against a good and experienced Middlesbrough team that came to the Lane and made the game very difficult for us. There was always a threat with the quality they have up front with Hasselbaink and Yakubu, then Viduka when he came on.
They were a difficult side to break down and it was a big test for us, but we came out of it very well. You hope for a bit of fortune on the day and we got it with Mido's goal. Getting the second goal was important but, just as important to us is the fact we have played two games and haven't conceded a goal yet.
There was a buzz around the ground on Saturday and this probably stems from our good pre-season and moreso the introduction of the new players. From a training ground viewpoint it makes for a real competition for places which is very, very healthy for the club.
It is Blackburn next and we have a good record there over the last few years. It is a good place to play football and the pitch is excellent.
They are a side coming into the game on the back of a very good win against Fulham in which they played a fluent passing game capped by a couple of fantastic goals. It will be a difficult game because they will be lifted by that result.
In the two games they have played so far, Blackburn have started in a 4-4-2 shape before changing into a 4-3-3 or 4-5-1 - however you look at it. This could have been determined by the injuries to strikers they have got, although Gallagher is fit and Kuqi played.
When they play with a five across midfield the threat comes from Reid who has very much come on as a player, Savage, of course, and the two wide players - Pederson and Emerton. Also in there is Tugay who pulls the strings.
They have a good blend of youth and experience and will be a tough outfit to break down.