Singh wants to keep Rovers squad intact, but says ‘unhappy players’ can go (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Singh wants to keep Rovers squad intact, but says ‘unhappy players’ can go
BLACKBURN Rovers will not stand in the way of “unhappy players” leaving Ewood Park this summer – but are hopeful they can convince the majority to remain in East Lancashire.
Rovers’ new ‘global advisor’ Shebby Singh insists the club don’t want any of their squad to depart – as they look to add new faces – but believes players have to “want” to be part of the Ewood future.
Steve Kean is hopeful of securing a two-year deal for Fulham veteran Danny Murphy, with a bumper pay-packet on offer, while striker target Leon Best is understood to be mulling over his Newcastle United future.
But, while they bid to strengthen their squad, Rovers know they have a job on their hands keeping most of their top names at the club.
The out of contract Junior Hoilett is certain to leave, while Yakubu is close to a big-money move to China for £1million, due to a release clause his contract.
Mauro Formica, Gael Givet, Scott Dann, Steven Nzonzi, Paul Robinson – potentially to Besiktas – and Martin Olsson are all understood to be eyeing Ewood exits, leaving Singh ready to back youth if the more senior stars demand departures.
He said: “We do not want to lose anyone but, under the circumstances, if there are players that we cannot hang on to then we will have to let them go. There is no doubt about that.
“We can’t keep unhappy players because by letting unhappy players go it will create more opportunities for the local players. I think the time has come now to reward the boys who have come through from the academy.
“Look at Jason Lowe. I don’t think Jason Lowe would have gotten a look in, now he is considered one of the senior players.
“We are going to build from within and it is time we did that. We know though we need a few older heads to help them on their way.
“We want to keep everyone but if there is someone who is really, really unhappy we can’t have that. I think last season from the outside looking in, I think certain players were unhappy and that created a very, very bad atmosphere.”
Singh has pleaded with last season’s top scorer Yakubu not to “go into retirement” by moving to China and believes Olsson could be a key player in helping Rovers back into the Premier League.
The former Malaysian international, who has worked as a football pundit for the past decade, is also hoping he can play a key role in helping the players at the club progress.
He said: “I have read a club in China are interested in Yakubu. I will tell Yak he is too young to go into a retirement home. He can still contribute and go to China in a few seasons.
“For example if Martin Olsson wants to leave now, yes he would go to a Premier League club. But will he be in the starting XI? He still has age on his side.
“He could stay with us for the next two or three seasons and be one of the main players to take us back to the Premier League.
“If anyone can analyse the strength and weaknesses of the player it is me. I have been doing that for 15 years and I can help them by talking to them.
“That is what I intend to do. I think the players need an arm around their shoulders and need to be reminded of their strengths. They need to be released of outside influences to enjoy themselves.
“I think counselling is very, very important. There is not enough of that sometimes. A lot of knee jerk reactions do leave players exposed. The grass is not always greener on the other side.”