Date: 12th September 2006 at 11:13pm
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Blackburn Journals Monday 4th – Sunday 10th September 2006

Monday 4th September 06
It is coming up to Hughes` second anniversary in charge here. He has said that he is finding the day to day running of the club more enjoyable than the international job. He looks back at managing his home country Wales with great fondness but he is relishing his time with Rovers as club manager. He said that you get to know the players well and can mould the team to what you vision, whereas with International management he feels that it`s like chucking the players in a pot and hoping it comes good. Click Here for Full Article

The season has not started as expected, yet I believe like Hughes that things will start to look up and we will soon start bouncing up the table. The first three fixtures have not been easy matches, Portsmouth are an up and coming team and they are on a high with all the new players, investment etc. Everton are always a hard team to play and as much as we would have liked to have kept the lead, a draw is a good result and as for Chelsea, they are Champions so can`t argue there; was a good performance against them though! Click Here for Full Article

Matt Jansen who left us in January in a switch to Bolton is back training with them, despite Bolton releasing him at the end of the season. Jansen was thought to be heading to America to play, but impressing at Bolton, where he made only three starts could possibly earn him a new contract. Good luck Matt. Click Here for Full Article

Dominic Matteo is said to be a target for a number of Championship clubs when the emergency loan window opens. So far Matteo has not been involved this season and looks set to go out on loan.

Lucas Neill is to be made an improved contract offer to keep him at the club. He has already rejected one offer, stating that it is not about the money but wanting a change. Liverpool failed in a last minute bid to sign him and Hughes who made Neill captain against Chelsea hopes that an improved offer can change his mind. Click Here for Full Article

Was good to see Morten Gamst Pedersen put in a good International performance for Norway. He scored a brilliant goal in Norway`s 4-1 win over Hungary. He scored some beauties last season for us and hopefully he can score us some more amazing goals. Still, even average goals will do me as they all count. Click Here for Full Article

During the summer we tried signing Sweden international Johan Elmander, but he ended up joining Toulouse. Wigan we`re also chasing him along with many European clubs, but he has explained he rejected all offers to join Toulouse as they have an ambitious manager and president who are taking them forward. Elmander says that he plans to move on to an even bigger league, he is only 25 and has plenty of time to reach the top level.

Tuesday 5th September 06
Leeds are said to be looking at taking Dominic Matteo back on loan to Elland Road. He is still to feature for us this term and he is now tipped to return to Leeds where he played between 2000 and 2004.

I`ve been made aware of Morten Gamst Pedersen having a new career? in a boy band named ‘The Players`. Their current single is called ‘This Is For Real`, released to raise money for good causes. Keep it real ha! Click Here for Full Article

Mark Hughes is giving his backing to former Manchester United team mate Roy Keane in management. Hughes believes that despite getting into management quicker than Keane expected, Keane will be a success. His first game in charge will be against Derby on Saturday.

Wednesday 6th September 06
Blackburn new boys Francis Jeffers and Jason Roberts were reported targets of Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock. Warnock said that financially they were not at the level needed to take them to the United. The club was either considered not big enough or they could not afford the players. Click Here for Full Article

Ryan Nelsen is still out with injury and it is getting concerning as he appears to be getting no better. It was reported as a torn buttock muscle, but now it appears that he is going Finland to have a specialist operation which involves reattaching part of the torn hamstring. Hopefully next Tuesday`s operation will be a success as the surgeon has a high success rate and he will be back in a matter of weeks not months. He will definitely miss both UEFA Cup ties against Salzburg this month. Click Here for Full Article

Lancashire police are investigating an incident involving Ben Thatcher which left ex-Rovers player Ralph Welch with a broken jaw in last February`s reserve game. 19-year-old Welch who now trains with Oldham had to have a metal plate placed in his jaw. This is part of the ongoing investigation from The Pedro Mendes challenge last month. Thatcher has been responsible for many similar incidents over the years and is now the centre of a police investigation. Click Here for Full Article

Thursday 7th September 06
Leeds United boss Kevin Blackwell has confirmed that talks have opened with Dominic Matteo about a loan move. The problem is however the wages as Matteo left Leeds originally as the players earning Premiership wages could not see their wage demands met when Leeds were relegated. Leeds want Matteo on loan, but will only agree to it if we pay part of the wages. Sunderland are also said to have an interest.

Tottenham striker Mido has confirmed that he was close to joining us before returning to Spurs. He met with Hughes and John Williams and says he has a lot of respect for them but he always wanted to join Spurs despite other offers.

We face Sheffield United on Saturday and veteran United defender Craig Short has backed his former club to start soaring up the table. He is surprised to see us sat at bottom of the table, as are we all, yet he has vowed that this revival will not start at the expense of United.

Former Rovers defender Vratislav Gresko has joined Nurnberg on a one-year deal with another two-year option after a successful trial. The Slovakian international joined on trial last month after being released by Hughes in the summer.

Friday 8th September 06
Egyptian defender Wael Gomaa has again been linked with a January move to us. It had recently been reported that Hughes had agreed with him that he will join us in January. During the summer he was also linked with Newcastle, Tottenham and Bolton.

It is reported that Perak goalkeeper Nasril Nourdin is wanted on trial. Perak coach Steve Darby said he received a phone call from Rovers chief scout Mike Riggs saying that he was wanted on trial. If Nourdin was to sometime join, he would be the first Malaysian to have played in the Premier League. It could be a problem getting a work permit though as Malaysia are 148th in the FIFA rankings and a national team needs to be in the top seventy to be considered for the Premier League.

It is alleged that our defender Michael Gray was punched in the face in a Manchester restaurant on Saturday night by Wayne Rooney. Rooney and fiancée Coleen McLoughlin were approached by Gray who was under alcohol influence. It is said that he made remarks which were offensive to Coleen and the other female members who were dining with them. Gray was asked to leave several times before the incident. I wonder if we will get to see the shiner on Saturday, if it is still there. Click Here for Full Article

After the International break, it is good to know that we will be back to normal tomorrow. We take on Sheffield United and statistically their record against us is better. We last met in Division One (now the Championship) in 2000 and they won 2-0. Hopefully though, as we have re-established ourselves in the Premier League, this could go in our favour. Click Here for Full Article

Shabani Nonda has been told by Hughes that there will be a full time move for him if he can get back to his £13m best. His goal scoring record is good and hopefully he can recapture that fine form. Click Here for Full Article

Former Rovers player and Switzerland international Stephane Henchoz who has been linked with a return to us after being released by Wigan has today signed for us. This could pave the way for Matteo to join one of the Championship clubs that are after him.

Hughes has spoken on how he thinks the International fixture list should be revamped. He has had another week without the majority of his big stars and says that he has spent about six days with his full squad preparing for the opening four Premiership clashes. He thinks this is far from ideal and needs to be looked at and maybe the major tournaments can be structured differently.

Saturday 9th September 06
Good news for season ticket holders, Rovers are giving free, yes FREE admission for the first round second leg UEFA Cup tie with FC Salzburg on Thursday 28th September. Tickets for non season ticket holders are also a bargain at £15 for adults and £5 for children. Click Here for Full Article

Morten Gamst Pedersen is hoping to continue his winning success that he has had on International duty with Norway. He has played two games for Norway since Rovers last match and is hoping to make today with Rovers a hat trick. He has scored a couple of fine goals for Norway and hopes to open his Rovers account for this term.

Was an interesting game against Sheffield United. Still not got a win yet but 0-0 is still a point. I can`t believe there were three penalties with two of them going to United. Even more amazingly was the fact that they were all saved with two saves from Friedel. Click Here for Full Article I don`t think any of them should have been penalties, especially the decision against Lucas Neill when he chested the ball back to Friedel. They were fine saves and rightly so he should be praised by Hughes. It makes the draw seem an even better result and gets us off the bottom of the table at least. Click Here for Full Article

Sunday 10th September 06
Yesterdays match saw Francis Jeffers make his first start for us. He wasn`t at full fitness, but this match will help him in the right direction and will make him a lot sharper. It has been a while since Jeffers played and he is delighted to be playing again. Jeffers also said that he had the best penalty claim of the match but that was not given and he feels it was the only proper penalty claim of the match, despite three penalties being awarded, all of which as we know were saved.

Hughes also praised Jeffers for his performance saying he has not had a lot of Premier action the last couple of years but his movement was excellent. Let`s hope Jeffers keeps it up and finds that form that attracted Arsenal all them years ago.

Mark Hughes today has talked of his delight in bringing Stephane Henchoz back to Rovers. He feels he`ll need a number of weeks to get back to match fitness as he has not played since being released from Wigan at the end of the season, but with Ryan Nelsen going to be out due to Tuesday`s operation, it was ideal for someone of his experience to be available to fill in for him. Welcome back to Rovers Henchoz and I hope you get back to match fitness real soon. Click Here for Full Article