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It can be special season, says Blackburn Rovers keeper
PAUL Robinson believes Blackburn Rovers could have a “special season” ahead of them, despite starting their Ewood Park campaign in front of the lowest league crowd for almost 20 years.
The Rovers stopper can seldom, if ever, have played in front of less than 14,000 fans in a home league match before, in spells at Leeds, Tottenham and Rovers, and admits Wednesday night did feel “different”.
Just 13,562 fans turned out to witness Rovers’ home opener, a 1-0 win over Hull City, as supporters continue to vote with their feet against Steve Kean’s managerial reign.
Ahead of tomorrow’s visit of highly-fancied Leicester City though, Robinson insists there are grounds for optimism and is hopeful to be soon playing in front of a packed Ewood Park once more.
He said: “It was different on Wednesday night. It was quite quiet at the start but hopefully, with performances and results, we can fill the place because this could be a really special year for us. “Everybody here is determined to get promotion, that is our only aim and with the players we have got hopefully we can get results.
“Hopefully with results the crowd can come back.
“After the couple of years we have had at this place, it would be special to have a successful season and to look towards promotion. Look, it is a long season and that is a long way off, but to get prom-otion would be a fantastic boost for this club and for the town.”
Rovers will be encouraged by a return of four points from their first two games of the campaign, despite performances at Ipswich and at home to Hull being less than inspiring.
Robinson though believes patience is needed before Rovers find top gear this campaign as they adapt to a new Championship approach. “We are learning a new style of play at the moment,” he said.
“We are playing very differently to how we did last season. I think we did well, we dominated the game without ever having that cutting edge.
“I think us and the fans had to be patient. I think the fans were good with us. I think they understand we are trying to do things a bit different. “That is the first time in a long time that teams have come to try and stop us playing. We are learning now we are actually the favourites going into games and how to break teams down. It is going to be difficult for us.
“Teams are going to try and stop us playing because of the quality of players we have got now. In this league teams will try to stop us playing. “I think this squad is as good as there is in the league. You look at the quality we have throughout the squad and we have made some very good additions.
“You look at the back five and that is a Premier League defence. All through the team we have Premier League players and teams are going to come and try and stop us playing. They will see our team sheet and rise to the challenge.”
Leicester have been tipped to have a good season this campaign, having spent significant money again this summer, and Robinson believes tomorrow’s Ewood clash could be a true sign of what lies ahead.
He said: “It is very important we build on that against Leicester. The point at the weekend against Ipswich could have gone either way. It could have been a good point if we beat Hull or a bad point if we didn’t.
“It has turned into a good point, we are up there where we want to be and it is something we do need to build on now.
“Leicester will be of the mentality they are one of the favourites to go up as well so it should be a good game. We will get confidence from tonight.
“We might see the kind of level we need to be at. It is going to be a tough game, no doubt about that, but we are going into the game looking to win. Unlike last season, we are expecting to win games.”
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