Defence deserve headlines
Two-goal hero Rafa van der Vaart praised our back four after Sunday's 2-1 victory at Ewood Park.
Two-goal hero Rafa Van der Vaart insists the defence deserve as much credit as he does for our 2-1 victory over Blackburn at Ewood Park on Sunday.
Rovers bombarded the backline with high balls into the box, particularly as the clock wound down, but on the whole the centre-back pairing of Younes Kaboul and Sebastien Bassong did superbly well to deal with the aerial threat.
"When you score you're always in the headlines, but I think the defenders were amazing today. This season they've been unbelievable for us," said Rafa.
"It's my second time here (at Ewood Park), they play with throw-ins, corner kicks and long balls, it's really difficult to win here. It's a massive compliment to the boys that we did."
Van der Vaart also praised Kyle Walker, who created the first goal with a fantastic run down the right-wing and an inch-perfect pass for him to slot the ball home from close range.
"Kyle did a fantastic job. It was an amazing run, all the credit is to him."
However, the Dutchman's second goal was all his own work. A loose ball fell to him 20 yards from goal and Rafa struck the ball into the top left corner of the net. It was an instinctive finish and the player revealed as much after the game.
"I didn't think 'OK, I'm going to shoot there', but the ball came and I just hit it first time. It was a fantastic strike. The ball just came and I hit it."
The victory gave us our fifth win in six Premier League games and we lie only three points behind fourth-placed Newcastle, having played a game less.
"It was a hard game today but it says a lot that we won here and fought until the end.
"We want to finish in the top four and there's a long way to go, but we're full of confidence."