Pedersen hails 'perfect' Hughes
By Chris Stanton
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Morten Pedersen is confident ahead of Blackburn's semi-final clash with United.
Blackburn's Morten Gamst Pedersen has hailed manager Mark Hughes on the eve of Rovers' Carling Cup semi-final first leg with Manchester United.
Pedersen had been linked with a move to Tottenham earlier this month but his refusal to countenance the speculation is a reflection of the admiration he holds for Hughes.
"He is a really good manager," said Pedersen. "He cares about what you do, he listens to you, and with him being a former player he knows how you feel.
"I love to play for him, he believes in me, which is really important when you are a player. He is perfect.
"From what he learned on the pitch, and after playing under a number of big managers, he gives it back to the players.
"I've learned a lot from him, and from the staff he brought with him. The whole package has been perfect."
Pedersen initially struggled to get to grips with the physical nature of English football following his transfer from Tromso in August 2004.
However, the 24-year-old later established himself as a firm fixture in Rovers' side in the second half of last season, demonstrating a flair for spectacular strikes along the way.
And a brace of goals in Rovers' 2-1 victory at Old Trafford in September finally announced Pedersen's arrival as an established top-flight performer.
Hughes and Rovers will hope for something similar again on Wednesday night at Ewood Park and Pedersen admits he already has one eye on claiming silverware this season.
"He [Hughes] has taught me to be more physical, and the tempo of the game as it is so much different to when I arrived. They are two of the most important things," added Pedersen.
"But I've worked hard to be a better player all round, and that's thanks to Mark.
"He is one of the reasons why I want to stay. You want to play for a good manager, and at a good club too, and we are now a very good club.
"I think about what I have, and I have Blackburn Rovers, so I don't have to think about anything else.
"I also feel we've a good chance of winning trophies here too. You can't get any closer to a final than a semi-final, and now anything can happen."