DJ CAMPBELL has boldly predicted Blackburn Rovers will “definitely” reach the play-offs as he relishes the opportunity to fire the club back where he believes they belong.
The 31-year-old will go straight into Rovers’ squad for this afternoon’s visit of Ipswich Town, after joining on a three-month loan deal from QPR.
Campbell, who scored 10 goals in 17 loan appearances for Ipswich earlier this season, would only be eligible for a semi-final first leg tie should Rovers reach the end of season lottery – due to his loan stay expiring – but he is just focusing on getting them that far.
Rovers are currently seven points adrift of the Championship top six in 13th but Campbell insists the gap is bridgeable.
He said: “It does sound like a big gap but in my mind it isn’t, it is seven points. As the gaffer said there are 54 points to play for.
“But, yes you would think Blackburn would have been favourites to go up, they were. In that respect you do think they shouldn’t be where they are but for whatever reason it hasn’t worked out.
“We have to look forward, the gaffer has come in, and there is a lot of confidence in the lads. I feel I have made the right decision, it was a no brainer and I believe we will definitely make the play-offs.”
Campbell was involved in a promotion winning side when he helped Birmingham and Blackpool to the top flight and wants more of the same with Rovers.“It is very special being involved in a promotion campaign. You want to play at the highest level you can and the Premier League is the place to be. A club like this should be there.
“It is a travesty for them to be in the Championship, taking nothing away from the Championship. A club of this structure should be playing in the Premier League.
“I think I could play in the first game of the play-offs. It would be a sickener but I just want to help out and do the best I can. Hopefully I could help in the first leg.
“There are a lot of good strikers here. That is football, when you play you have to do the best you can. We are all pushing in the same direction so it is all for the club and all for the team.
“Yes, we all want to play, I love playing football, but it is team game. As long as we are all chipping in and scoring when we play it gives the gaffer a massive headache.”
Since joining QPR from Blackpool in August 2011, Campbell has struggled to make an impression due to a series of injuries and falling out of favour.
Now though, after a successful spell at Ipswich, the former he is relishing the chance to play regular football again.
He said: “Since I left Blackpool, where I scored a lot goals, I have had a lot of injuries and didn’t play much and since then a lot of managers have come and gone and they brought their own ideas and players.
“I missed the boat with a few managers, especially Mark Hughes, he came and I was injured a lot. I didn’t get the chance to show what I can do.
“It has been a frustrating time at QPR, it is a club I supported as a boy and it is my area. I was desperate to play and help the boys out but I couldn’t.
“It was tough, but that is football. I am here now and I was delighted to get out and get a few games with Ipswich at the start of the season, score a few goals and help them because they are a great club.
“I have always believed in myself. I remember my mother said to me one day if no-one believes in you, you are the only one who can believe in you. I have always had that, with all the doubters through my career, to prove them wrong is a buzz for me.”
Campbell was also quick to play down any rift between him and Hull boss Steve Bruce, who accused him of a complete lack of respect when he turned the Tigers down for Rovers.
“I like Steve a lot,” he said. “He has done a lot for my career and gave me my chance in the Premier League.
“I am thankful of him doing that but I was a bit disappointed with him as he knows the kind of person I am, he knows I would not disrespect him or anyone. I am not that kind of person.”