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HUGHTON'S NOTES

Posted on 16 November 2006  - 12:00

Chris Hughton's regular assessment of our forthcoming opponents - next up, Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park on Sunday.

Chris Hughton's regular assessment of our forthcoming opponents - next up, Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park on Sunday.

BLACKBURN are a very fit side, last season they were labelled physical but I saw that as more a committed side and one that wanted to do well. I am a little surprised that they haven't started as well as I thought they might at this stage of the season because I see them as a very good, well-organised outfit.

They've brought in strikers and have good options in that area and what they have done is do well in their European campaign.

At home they will be a tough team and Ewood Park will always be a very difficult place to go.

It's almost always a 4-4-2 system and Benni McCarthy is certainly a player who was spoken about for a lot of years with interest from a lot of clubs and he is a quality striker. Nonda is another player who, a few years ago, was very highly rated but then picked up an injury that kept him out for a little while. They'll have a lot of quality and mobility up front.

The one who pulls the strings for them in midfield is Tugay. A couple of years ago he wasn't playing as many games and it looked like he might be moving on but he's stuck in there and gone from strength to strength.

He's the most experienced player in that side and on the ball he's as good as anyone in the league. They get enough legs around him to compensate and he loves to get on the ball. Bentley is another one we've seen for a number of years, also very good on the ball and Pedersen on the left, who scored a few goals. He whips in his corners as well as anyone and he's very consistent.

The full-backs are Gray, perhaps Lucas Neill, Kishanvili is suspended, Ooija, who was involved for Holland against England, is also likely to start and in goal it will be Brad Friedel, who is as consistent as anyone.