Hughes: I don't doubt Matt
Mark Hughes says Matt Derbyshire still has an important part to play despite being fourth-choice striker.
By Hayley Paterson
Last Updated: 26/04/08 12:26pm
Mark Hughes says Matt Derbyshire still has an important part to play despite being Blackburn's fourth-choice striker.
The England Under 21 international has started just four times this season, having struggled with a hernia injury and also being behind Roque Santa Cruz, Benni McCarthy and Jason Roberts in the pecking order.
But Hughes has assured that he has no doubt in the 22-year-old's ability and it has merely been injuries and tactics that have kept Derbyshire out of first-team action for a month.
"He is struggling with injury. He is booked in for a double-hernia operation as soon as the season ends and he may well go in sooner than that," the Welshman said.
"Matty is an explosive player and a great impact player for us and in recent weeks, given the opposition we have gone up against, I've erred on the side of safety somewhat with putting an extra defensive-minded player (on the bench), rather than two attacking-minded players.
"That's the thinking behind it. It's not the fact that I'm unhappy with his performance or that I think he hasn't got a big part to play, because he certainly has," he added.
The Rovers boss is also predicting a bright future for Swiss international Johann Vogel following his introduction into English football.
The 31-year-old recently joined the Ewood Park side as a free agent after leaving Real Betis and has made an instant impact.
"He's come here after being out for 10 months with no football whatsoever," he said.
"I have thrown him in right at the deep end against Spurs, Liverpool and Manchester United and every game we've seen him getting stronger."
Since the inclusion of Vogel, veteran midfielder Tugay has had to take a back seat. However Hughes added that the fans' favourite, who is out of contract in the summer, may not have played his last game for the club.