PAUL Robinson wants Ewood Park to return to being the intimidating fortress it used be – and insists Blackburn Rovers’ “fantastic” supporters have an important role.
Rovers’ newly appointed skipper has hailed the Ewood faithful’s efforts to help the club win their scrap for Premier League survival and is looking for more of the same as the relegation run-in starts in earnest.
An out of form Aston Villa arrive at Ewood Park today, not out of relegation danger themselves, with Robinson identifying March’s fixtures as crucial for the club’s Premier League hopes.
He knows the players themselves have a huge responsibility to secure a return to Rovers’ traditional good home form but believes the supporters can also drive them on.
Protest marches planned pre match have been billed ‘the biggest yet’ but Rovers’ goalkeeper is confident the team will get the fans’ support during the match.
He said: “The fans have been very important for us, Between 3pm and 5pm on a Saturday afternoon the fans are fantastic for us. We need their support on a Saturday afternoon, that is what we need.
“Once the ball starts rolling we just need their support because at the end of the day we are all there for the same reason and that is to see Blackburn Rovers win. The main thing is the club survives in the Premier League.
“It has been louder inside Ewood Park recently. It doesn’t help all the side tracks away from football but between 3pm and 5pm it is massively, massively important because we all want the same outcome.
“In years gone past it has always been a difficult place to come, it was when I was at Leeds and Tottenham. It was one of those places if we got a point we would be happy.
“We want to get back to that, whether through winning ugly, being a horrible team to play against or just by amassing some results.”
Since Chris Samba and Ryan Nelsen’s Ewood departures, ‘Robbo’ has taken the captain’s armband on a temporary basis but boss Kean confirmed yesterday he was now his official skipper.
And it is something the former England stopper is relishing, although he admits the pre-match huddle he introduced before the 3-2 win over QPR won’t be done every week.
“I am very proud to be wearing the armband and enjoying every minute of it,” he told Roversplayer. “I would say I am very vocal, on and off the pitch. I like to play my part before games and at half time. I believe I can give a lot in the role.
“The huddle is something we have done on and off. You can’t do it every game because it becomes predictable. I just thought it was such a big game, the atmosphere was building and thought it was the right time to have a word with the lads.
“As a goalkeeper it is hugely frustrating we have not kept a clean sheet this season because during the course of the season you fluke one in a horrible game, but we haven’t even had one of them yet.
“At this stage of the season though we just have to win games. I don’t care if we win 10-9. I am very confident we can stay up. There are five teams there and we can finish at the top of those five no problem.”