Nelsen calls on Rovers
By Chris Stanton
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Blackburn's Ryan Nelsen believes Rovers need to remain focused on their own form.
Blackburn's Ryan Nelsen has called on Rovers not to get ahead of themselves in the race for European qualification.
Mark Hughes's side travel to Sunderland on Saturday in high spirits and confident of recording a fifth win in six matches at The Black Cats' expense.
Rovers will be the favourites of many to boost their European cause at The Stadium of Light and put pressure on top-six rivals Tottenham, Arsenal and Bolton.
Nelsen insists the Ewood Park outfit can not afford to look to others for favours and is determined to focus solely on his own side's fortunes.
"We can only control our own destiny, so if we win tomorrow then we can do no more," said Nelsen.
"I wish we could affect the other results, but all we can do is look one game ahead and try to win that.
"But what we are experiencing at the moment is definitely a lot more exciting compared to last season when we were fighting to stay up.
"There's more optimism within the team. We're improving, and if the end product of that is a place in Europe, that will be a bonus.
"But I'm not someone who looks at the fixtures and tries to work out who might win what game. If I did that my head would explode.
"All I am worried about is keeping a clean sheet and getting three points at Sunderland. That would make me more than happy.
"And if we are talking again in a few weeks' time and we're in the Champions League, that would be great, fantastic."
Nelsen has made a huge impression at Ewood Park since signing from DC United in January 2005 with the previously little-known defender becoming one of Rovers' most consistent performers during Hughes's 18-month tenure.