Hughes backs his men
By Amanda Cornforth
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Mark Hughes believes Blackburn can end two years of pain against Chelsea.
Blackburn manager Mark Hughes believes his side can compensate for the hurt of two years ago when they meet Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final on Sunday.
Rovers lost to Arsenal at the same stage of the competition in 2005 and the repercussions of that defeat left scars on the team.
But now Blackburn have moved on, they secured a Uefa Cup place last season and Hughes insists his men have got what it takes to prove themselves a force to be reckoned with against champions Chelsea when they come together at Old Trafford.
"We bore the consequences of that Arsenal match for quite some time. We probably still do on occasions," he said.
"But we have progressed year on, year on. We want to get better as a club, as a team and as a group of players.
"That is what we seem to have been doing and we are a lot different from that day in Cardiff, both in attitude and personnel.
"While Chelsea have individual talent that can turn games on their head, we have players who can do that as well.
"People like Benni McCarthy can produce moments of magic. So too can the likes of David Bentley and Morten Gamst Pedersen, especially from set pieces.
"It only takes a second to score a goal and we have players to do that. Everyone acknowledges now that we are a decent football team and a team that can cause you problems."
Blackburn have lost three games in succession heading into the tie but Hughes remains confident of his side's ability.
"Perhaps in the last couple of games we have had one eye on this tie," he added.
"We will be starting as underdogs and that is to be expected.
"Chelsea are an outstanding team and going well in all competitions.
"But that will not lessen our chances. We will go there with the right attitude and make a hell of a game of it."