MANAGING director Derek Shaw is ‘relatively’ confident Blackburn Rovers will have their Financial Fair Play embargo lifted in January without the need to sell any more players.

But whatever happens in the New Year new boss Paul Lambert insists the embargo should not be used as an excuse for failing to win football matches.

Rovers have been operating under the embargo, which restricts the club to free transfers and loan signings under £10,000 per week, since January.

And when asked about it at his unveiling yesterday Lambert said: “The more people keep mentioning it, the more negativity and the more people accept it, and they’ll use it as an excuse to draw a game or lose a game. People will hide behind it.

“An embargo doesn’t make you lose a game. If you don’t turn up and perform well, that’s what makes you lose a game.

“It’s there in the background but as long as people keep harping back to it, it’ll always come back.

“But I know the situation with what’s happening here, I’m comfortable with it, the owners have been great, and the club is working hard behind the scenes to come out of it, which I’m pretty sure they will.”

Last month Shaw said that Rovers were ‘one sale away from coming out of FFP, which would probably be a player under £5m’, after the summer departures of Rudy Gestede, Tom Cairney and Josh King generated more than £10m in fees.

But, speaking at the main press conference that announced Lambert arrival as the club’s 39th permanent manager in its 140-year history, he said: “I have stated before that we were possibly one sale away from being released from FFP but we’re not looking to sell a player. We have other irons in the fire, which hopefully will clear us from that.”

Asked afterwards for further clarification on his comments, Shaw said: “It’s nothing sinister. There are things in the Football League regulations, which are about a foot thick, and if you were to read, there are ways of what you can do.

“We’ve been working very closely with the Football League and we hope that we can do it. It’s not really something I want to go into detail in public but our finance director has been working with the Football League people and we hope we can get out of the embargo sooner rather than later.”

Asked how confident he was that the club could be embargo-free by January, Shaw said: “Relatively.”

Once Rovers are out of the embargo they will be able to sign players for fees and there will be no restrictions on how much they can pay new recruits or on their squad size.

Lambert added: “If it does go the way everybody hopes it goes, and we can get out there and get good players to the club, to help the good ones here as well, and if we can do that, then we’ll have a chance.”

Lambert delivered separate interviews to the local and national media after the main press conference before returning to the training ground where he had spent the morning with the club’s directors.

By lunchtime he was out on the training field, putting the players through their paces for the first time, as he started the preparations for Saturday’s Lancashire derby with Preston North End, where Rovers will be roared on by a sell-out 5,500-strong travelling support.

Lambert, speaking before heading back to rain-lashed Brockhall, said: “We’ll train this afternoon and we’ll have a meeting with them, and talk to them, and say what we expect from them and what they expect from us.

“It’s like anything, a new manager comes in and players are a bit wary of what’s going to happen, but they’ll be fine.”