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Blackburn Rovers boss pleased to have lost European record
HENNING Berg has admitted he is glad that Blackburn Rovers this week passed on an unwanted Champions League record to Manchester City.
The Rovers boss helped the club to the Premier League title in 1995 but was then part of the team that had a disappointing campaign in the Champions League.
Rovers’ European record in those days remains a sore point for the club after a UEFA Cup defeat to Swedish side Trelleborgs was followed a year later by their Champions League group stage exit.
After Kenny Dalglish decided to step down as manager and was replaced by Ray Harford, Rovers claimed only four points from a group including Spartak Moscow, Legia Warsaw and Rosenborg.
The campaign also became infamous for an on-pitch fight between Rovers team-mates David Batty and Graeme Le Saux in Moscow.
Their only victory was a 4-1 triumph at home to Rosenborg after Rovers had already been eliminated, when Mike Newell scored the Champions League’s fastest ever hat-trick in the space of only nine minutes.
Newell’s record was beaten by Lyon striker Bafetimbi Gomis last year, in Lyon’s 7-1 win at Dinamo Zagreb last year, but Rovers’ points tally remained the lowest by any English team in the Champions League until this week.
Now, though, Manchester City hold that dubious honour after collecting only three points from six games against Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Ajax.
“Good!” laughed Berg, who played in all six group games during the Champions League campaign.
“It is strange that has happened the first time Manchester City won the league and it happened to us as well.
“After we won the league we were not as mentally able as we should have been in terms of coping with winning the league - making sure we had the right attitude, the right squad and the right play to have a really good year afterwards.
“We didn’t have that experience as a club and as a team.
“I think City are a bit more further forward than we were at that time in terms of the squad we had but in terms of mentality they might find it a bit more difficult now that they have won the league and expectations are much higher.
“And they ended up in one of the best groups ever in the Champions League.”
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