Souness: Survival not enough
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Blackburn Rovers boss Graeme Souness insists he is not prepared to simply settle for a relegation battle during his side's first season back in the Premiership.
The former Liverpool manager has challenged his newly-promoted side to prove they are good enough to stay in the top flight comfort zone, but admits that survival is the priority.
Souness told Sky Sport News: "Success this season would be to remain in the Premier League and not to struggle.
"A lot of it will depend on how well our younger players handle the Premier League. Some of them have only played a handful of games, so it will be a big test for them."
Blackburn earned their right to ply their trade in the top flight after finishing runners-up to Jean Tigana's Fulham.
But Souness believes the step up in quality could prove to be a tough assignment for the Ewood Park outfit, who lost to Derby and drew with Manchester United in their opening two Premiership encounters.
"In the First Division last year they were top men - they weren't just good players, they were the top players. It's crucial that they make the jump up," he said.
"We're back in the big league, but I don't want us to be struggling this year. I don't want to be going back on a Saturday nights feeling miserable - I don't want the fans of players feeling like that either.
"I don't think it will be like that, but of course we'll get our noses bloodied on occasion. I like to think we could hold our own, though."
Six years ago Blackburn did more than just hold their own after the goals of Alan Shearer saw them pip Manchester United for the title.
"When Blackburn won the championship they broke the transfer record twice, I think. But we're not the same club anymore, the game has moved on in a big way since then," said Souness.
Times have changed indeed as now the talk is more of survival than of titles.
Souness said: "The priority is to remain in this league as this is the league to be in. It's obviously where all the cash is and, as someone who has been in football for a long time, you want to be operating at the highest level."