Bolton v Blackburn - The Oppositon View
Mike Delap of the Vital Blackburn Rovers site, answers a few questions ahead of Saturday's game with Bolton
Is the Bolton-Blackburn fixture still a big thing with Rovers fans?
Very much so. Our main rivals are Burnley but since we don't play them much we consider Bolton our derby in the Premier League. You can tell by the size of the crowds at the Reebok and Ewood when the two play that the match is important to both sets of fans. Local bragging rights are always important!
Which Blackburn player should we be looking out for.
I would keep a keen eye out for Carlos Villanueva who is a match winner and an instant cult hero at Rovers already. He has a mean left foot even if someone needs to show him how to use his right but I guess you can't have everything! The other man to watch out for is Vince Grella - back from injury and very much a midfielder that will provide more steel and protection for the back 4.
What are the first impressions of Paul Ince?
I like him. There are others that don't and have questioned his tactics so far. The jury is still out due to his lack of experience at this level but the board at Rovers will give him enough of a chance to prove himself.
On the plus side, he has got bags of enthusiasm and has been keen to stamp his own mark on the team. Furthermore, he has shown he is not afraid to blood the youngsters, which is good in my eyes as it shows he will upset the 'big names' such as Benni McCarthy to benefit the team.
Who`s your favourite hate figure from another club?
Mine personally is Arsene Wenger. I appreciate he is a great manager but he is a sanctimonious, egotistical whinger. The fact he blames everything on everyone else and never accepts any blame for his faults.
For proof look no further than any time he has moaned that we have been physical with his side... how many players have we injured whilst playing Arsenal over the last few years? I'll give you a clue - its a round single number.
Where do you think you`ll finish this season?
I don't think we'll hit Europe this season unless it is through one of the cups. I think a mid table finish of about 10th give or take a place either way will be the end result. This is as a result of a learning curve for the new manager and also the loss of Brad Friedel and David Bentley (how's that move gone by the way Dave?). Having said that, I think the quality in the squad we have means we will steer clear of any trouble.
Any chance you can re-house my next door neighbours (they`re Blackburn fans)?
Well they're welcome in my house anytime. This is because:
a) They are Blackburn fans.
b) We have a couple of spare rooms
c) My missus will spread the nagging across 3 people.
Seriously though, why do you want to get rid of them? I'd love a local rivalry like that next door!
Thanks to Mike for his responses. That's the polite bit done. Let hostilities commence!