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Gomes ready to carry on scoring for Blackburn Rovers
NUNO Gomes believes he has plenty of goals left in him after a good start to life at Blackburn Rovers – despite admitting his career had been written off by some in his native Portugal.
Gomes scored for a fourth successive game when he came off the bench to net the winner against Barnsley on Tuesday, and thinks his form can get even better as he continues to adapt to the Championship.
The Portugal international had been rested to protect his 36-year-old legs in midweek but is expected to be back in the starting line-up when Rovers host Middlesbrough in front of the Sky Sports cameras at Ewood Park tonight.
Defender Gael Givet is fit to return after a dead leg.
There was some initial scepticism, both in England and Portugal, about Rovers’ decision to sign Gomes on a two-year contract this summer.
And, while the veteran insists he has nothing to prove after a successful career, he revealed that some in his homeland did doubt he could revive his goalscoring days after leaving Braga.
FROM BACK PAGE “Part of the people, yes,” he said. “The ones who support you they always believe in you, the ones who don’t like you they just criticise.
“Some people said, ‘Oh, he is finished in football’.
“But you know I feel okay and I am happy to be here.
“I am happy to be a part of this team and to keep playing because I enjoy playing football.
“If I thought that I wasn’t ready for this challenge, I wouldn’t have come.
“I am happy that I have scored goals here, I am very glad, but if I can score more hopefully I will do in the next games.
“You get confidence and because it is my first time in England you start to know how they play the game here. In the future I think I can do better things.
“But I don’t want to show anyone, I just want to keep playing and of course keep scoring to help the team because I think that this club deserves to be in the Premier League all the time.”
Gomes’ decision to move to the English second tier might have seemed surprising on the face of it.
But the former Fiorentina and Benfica star thinks he is adapting well to a new style of football, and hopes his early form and Rovers’ position at the top of the table will now make people see that he joined a good club.
“I hope so, I hope they can think like that,” he said.
“In Portugal we see Blackburn as a big club in England, as a historic club, so I think it’s a shame that we are in the Championship because we have the structure like a Premier League club.
“I hope we can return as fast as we can.
“I am okay here, my family is happy to be here. Of course the weather is not the same as in Portugal but I am adapting, I am very glad to be here.
“The culture is almost the same, it is not a big difference from Portugal, the way of life is not a big difference.
“In football now everybody is working in virtually the same way, with the sport science and the other team members.
“On the pitch it is harder because players just keep running all the time and they don’t stop until the referee finishes the game, that is the difference I think you can find.
“It is a little bit harder but not that much harder.”