Date: 20th August 2006 at 11:11pm
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Blackburn Journals Monday 14th – Sunday 20th August 2006

Monday 14th August 06
Less than a week ’til kick off, and sixteen days to bring in new blood. However, things are looking good so far so not sure what additions we may need.

Striker Jemal Johnson has been handed a trial with Wolves. The American-born spent last season on loan with Preston North End and Darlington. It appears that he is surplus to requirements, so a permanent transfer looks on the cards?Click Here for Full Article

Summer signing Jason Roberts has set his sights on Champions League qualification. He has urged his team mates to take that next step forward and believes a top four finish is possible. It is sure a challenge but is equally possible. Click Here for Full Article

Our opening day rivals Portsmouth have stepped in again with a third bid for Ryan Nelsen. However we do not want to let him go and our chairman John Williams is in progress of sorting a new and improved deal to keep him at the club. At a sale of the £5m that Portsmouth are willing to pay, it will be good business as we got him on a free eighteen months ago, but we do not want to loose him. It is thought that his Blackburn future could be secured before our premiership opener on Saturday?

Monaco are today reported to be keen on Lucas Neill. Neill has been linked with a move to Spurs but we have so far managed to keep him. Monaco are looking at the situation long term apparently and will be able to hold talks with Neill in January before making him a free agent signing next summer.

Benni McCarthy looks to be setting his mind on our opener against Portsmouth on Saturday. He has been granted permission to miss South Africa`s friendly on Wednesday as he wants to focus and prepare himself for Saturday. However, his new Rovers team mate Aaron Mokoena is to feature. Let`s hope he has a good one as a good performance will benefit us. From a Rovers point of view it is extra preparation for our campaign.

Steven Reid will line-up for the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday and is determined to be a regular in the Republic line-up. Steve Staunton is a big admirer of Reid and if he continues with his fine displays for us, surely there is no chance that he can be overlooked.

Tuesday 15th August 06
Today it appears that Ryan Nelson is set to snub Portsmouth and stay with us. Portsmouth have been on his tail all summer, yet there appears to be no reason why he would want to leave us as he has showed his potential and is to be awarded with a new and improved contract, despite having two years remaining.

Steven Reid had a big boost today as Steve Staunton has handed him the captaincy for Republic of Ireland`s friendly tomorrow. Regular captain Robbie Keane and vice-captain Shay Given are both out through injury. Maybe one day he`ll be rewarded for his fine efforts and become regular captain for his country? Click Here for Full Article

The players today received their squad numbers for the new season. There have been a few changes, but on the whole it remains the same. Tugay and Paul Gallagher changed numbers to 5 and 18 respectively and David Bentley will now be number 11. Benni McCarthy will wear number 10, Francis Jeffers 17, Jason Brown 23 and Jason Roberts will stick with his favoured number 30. Click Here for Full Article

Wednesday 16th August 06
We finally got the news we were looking for today as Ryan Nelsen agreed a new four-year contract to stay with us. Just hope that he can get back to full strength quickly. Click Here for Full Article

After a successful trial striker Jemal Johnson has agreed a deal to leave us and join Wolves. He is now discussing terms and undertaking the standard medical etc. At last he should get the regular football that he has been craving. Click Here for Full Article

Thursday 17th August 06
Norwegian midfielder Kristofer Haestad has been interesting the club and our scouts were checking him out as he represented his country against Brazil in a friendly. There is however reported competition from Newcastle and Charlton as they are also quite keen.

Stilian Petrov has made news again as he has been subject to a number of clubs over the summer. We were keen on him during the summer but no more has been said of it for a while. Celtic today stated that he is going nowhere and it is as simple as that!

After agreeing a deal yesterday with Wolves, Jemal Johnson has finalised the terms of a contract and today signed a two year deal. He is still young with potential so could do well for Wolves, but we currently have other first choice options. Click Here for Full Article

Saturday`s 15.00 kick-off is edging ever closer and the players are talking of their excitement and how they are raring to get going. Such players as Roberts will be making their premier League debuts in a Rovers shirt and hopefully he will continue his fine pre-season goal scoring form.

There is doubt over Steven Reid featuring on the opening day against Portsmouth. Whilst representing the Republic of Ireland yesterday he picked up a couple of knocks to his ankle, resulting in having to come off at half time. It was without doubt not how Reid would have planned his debut as the Republic captain. Hopefully he`ll make a speedy recovery. His Rovers team mate Jonathan Douglas featured as a Republic substitute in the second half.

Gamst Pedersen`s night was an opposite reflection to Reid as he had a good night for Norway, scoring in the 1-1 draw with Brazil and fellow Rovers player Shefki Kuqi featured in the second half for Finland against Northern Ireland. It is reported that he was quite impressive and set up a goal but was on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline.

More good news today as it appears Brett Emerton is to pen a new two-three year deal. We want to keep our star players and now it seems he will be staying along with Nelsen who signed his new deal yesterday. This will fend off the likes of Portsmouth who can keep their money.

Friday 18th August 06
One more day ’til kick-off and I can`t wait. The match previews are starting to surface and the excitement is in the air. Both Portsmouth and ourselves are missing key players but it appears that it has the makings of an evenly fort match.

A moral booster is that Brett Emerton has joined Ryan Nelsen in signing a four-year contract keeping him here until 2010. It`s good to know that he`s followed suit with other key players that have committed. It appears though that Emerton will not feature tomorrow as he has a calf injury. Click Here for Full Article

Shefki Kuqi is being linked with a move to West Brom. It looks at the moment with the squad we have that he will not feature as much as he would like. When Kuqi was at Ipswich he had a good spell in the Championship, so if he was to leave us to go West Brom then his fine championship record should see him do well.

Saturday 19th August 06
At last kick off is here. Roll on 15:00. I cannot wait to see what Sparky has to offer this term, I feel we can do well. Talking of our leader, Hughes has spoke of his desire to one day manage Man Utd. I hope he don`t go anywhere soon as I am sure he has a lot to offer with our club. He does claim to be focused on the job at hand which is good to know. Anyway, I feel confident we can get something out of this Portsmouth game. Click Here for Full Article

Well, we went into the game with high hopes and that appeared to get us nowhere. 3-0 and I am GUTTED! From what I`ve heard, they marched all over us. Perhaps Hughes was right and they tried to ease themselves back into the season, who knows. I felt bad for Todd though with his sending off as he had a genuine case with his challenge. With him possibly being suspended along with Lucas Neill, we could be well short of cover? Click Here for Full Article

It appears some things have not changed with our discipline having two sent off! I hope we clean up our act for the rest of the season.

Sunday 20th August 06
I am still gutted about yesterday. I couldn`t even bring myself to watch Match of the Day last night. I am fed up with reading match reports today and well, I hope things will get better, sure they will. Come on Benni; get on your shooting boots! Click Here for Full Article

One thing I did find out though, Liverpool are reported to be keen on taking Lucas Neill to Anfield?


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