Hughes delighted with desire
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Mark Hughes lauded Blackburn's desire after the 3-2 victory over West Ham.Mark Hughes lauded the desire of his Blackburn side after they shrugged off their recent bad form, and a first half deficit, to beat West Ham 3-2.
Rovers had not scored in five-and-a-half hours of Premiership action but they laid their striking ghosts to rest in an action-packed second half, and Hughes was delighted with the manner of the victory - if not some slipshod defending at both ends of the pitch.
"We went in at half time 1-0 down, and I think that was their only shot on goal at that point, and you think at that stage it possibly could have been like the game we had last week at Everton where we conceded against the run of play," Hughes told Sky Sports.
"Second half we needed a response and that's exactly what we got.
"Some of the defending on both sides might not have been the best from a manager's point of view but it made for a really exciting second half.
"I think it showed the desire in the side as we came back on level terms, got our noses in front, got pegged back and then went again, and I think that's great credit to my players."
Rovers' goalless streak was a real cause for concern, particularly given Craig Bellamy's absence due to a hamstring injury, and Hughes was delighted as Paul Dickov's double and Shefki Kuqi handed Rovers a win despite fielding an experimental backline.
"We needed to start hitting the back of the net and we're pleased today," Hughes continued.
"We've won a difficult game under difficult circumstances, we had a completely new back four today, so maybe that's one of the reasons we weren't as composed as maybe we should have been.
"But fair play to them they stuck to their task and it's a good three points for us."
Blackburn's injury problems had been mounting, but Hughes again denied reports that Bellamy's injury was serious, voicing his hopes that the Welsh firebrand would be back to action within a fortnight.
"We've had it scanned, and we hope that it will be something like seven to ten days.
"We had reports prior to this game that he was going to be out until mid-January, which certainly wasn't the case."
The latter stages also witnessed an intriguing clash between Rovers team-mates Brad Friedel and Robbie Savage, as the American keeper physically confronted the midfielder after a heated exchange of words.
However the argument was nowhere near as embarrassing as David Batty and Graeme Le Saux's unseemly scuffle back in 1995, and Hughes insisted he would like to see more of the spirited reaction from his players.
"We expect players to have demands on themselves and demands on their team-mates and I think that just showed an example of that.
"It's never a problem and, in fact, I think we should have more of that."