HENNING Berg may not have the points return many would have been hoping for from his first two games in charge - but there are finally signs of hope for the long-suffering Blackburn Rovers’ faithful.
Just a single point from trips to Huddersfield Town and Crystal Palace does not represent an obvious instant impact from the new boss, but anyone at the John Smith’s Stadium on Tuesday will know it was a world of difference to what we have seen a lot this season.
Saturday was a real baptism of fire for the new man as a lethargic and passionless Rovers were steam rolled by an in-form Palace. It was fairly hopeless.
Berg was honest in his post match appraisal and on Tuesday night we saw an improvement in all the things that were so wrong about the display at Palace.
Rovers finally pressed their opponents all over the field, they retained possession better and they all looked as though they cared - something that hasn’t been that obvious among some this season.
Henning himself led by example. He was on his feet, urging his troops forward, berating the officials and showing everyone how much it meant to him. That can’t fail but to have a knock on effect to the players.
It has to be said a lot of the ground work had already been done by caretaker boss Eric Black. He was the one who had to tackle Rovers’ abysmal early defensive woes and who laid the platform for Berg to attempt to strike the right offensive balance.
It must be noted this is still very early days. Berg has proved nothing yet and a poor performance and defeat on Saturday will see the mood quickly turn once more.
It is refreshing though to have a man at the helm who says things as they are and who sounds like he has been watching the same game as the majority of the supporters. Black did similar, but for the previous two years the same can’t be said.
What was nice was to hear the Rovers faithful finally sing their manager’s name again from the stands. It was also nice to see the manager respond with a wave.
The relationship between the supporters and the manager is important. Henning obviously realises that, while the supporters are showing they are ready to give him a fair chance.
Berg still has a massive job ahead of him. He needs to mould an unbalanced squad into a promotion-winning collection of players.
He has already shown he knows what needs doing, now it is a case of making that a reality.