HENNING Berg insists Blackburn Rovers’ strength in depth will prove crucial this season as he stresses the importance of having “impact players” in the squad.
Rovers’ Norwegian is still getting to grips with the players at his disposal having taken charge of the club almost a fortnight ago but has been encouraged by the ability of his substitutes to have an effect on the game.
Forgotten man Simon Vukcevic has been particularly impressive in the three games he has been introduced from the bench and, with the likes of Nuno Gomes, Jason Lowe and David Dunn returning from injury, Berg is relishing the prospect of a big squad to pick from.
Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Birmingham saw Rovers drop out of the Championship play-off places, as they sit in seventh and two points adrift of the top six.
But, ahead of Saturday’s televised trip to Peterborough, the Rovers boss believes the potential is already in the squad to boost the club’s Premier League bid.
Berg said: “All our players who start the game should be able to play 90 minutes – we should be as capable of making an impact in the 89th minute as the 25th.
“But to have players to come on who can change things a little bit is very important. You need more than eleven players and everyone in this club will be important.
“We’ll have many games and training sessions and what we do in those will decide how far we go. The potential is there – we just have to get that extra quality at both ends of the pitch.”
Vukcevic was in Montenegro’s squad for last night’s World Cup qualifier at home to San Marino as he looks to have been handed a fresh start domestically at Ewood.
The 26-year-old winger made just six starts in his first season at the club, plus a further four appearances from the substitutes bench, after signing from Sporting Lisbon in August 2011.
Now though, having featured from the bench in all three of Berg’s matches so far, Vukcevic looks set to be handed a new chance.
“You have to give credit to him for that,” said Berg. “He came on against Palace and did really well for us, the same against Hudd-ersfield and handled himself very well on Saturday too.
“He was unlucky to be caught offside for that through pass and it’s good for us to have options on the bench.”
Meanwhile Bradley Orr yesterday completed his loan switch to Championship rivals Ipswich Town until January, with a view to a permanent move.
Orr said: “There were a few things going on in the upper echelons of the club at Blackburn and I wanted to get out on loan.
“Once I heard of Ipswich’s interest I was really keen to come down here. “Thankfully we’ve managed to get something sorted.”