FORMER Rovers ace Matt Jansen admits he’d love Matt Derbyshire to stay at Ewood Park – insisting he can provide the required firepower for Sam Allardyce.

Derbyshire’s future in East Lancashire looks bleak as he anticipates being out of manager Allardyce’s first-team plans for next season’s Premier League campaign.

Already the target of a rejected £3m bid from Olympiakos – where the striker spent a successful loan spell last season – Derbyshire is expected to tie up a move with the Greek champions at some stage this summer.

However, Jansen believes the 22-year-old has a small chance of resurrecting his Rovers career if Roque Santa Cruz completes a move to Manchester City.

With Benni McCarthy and Jason Roberts the only other recognised quality strikers on the club’s books, the ex-Blackburn forward feels the door may still be open.

“Matt is a great lad and a great striker,” said Jansen. “He did really well at Olympiakos and showed he can score goals at the highest level.

“When Matt’s had a regular place at Blackburn, he’s scored goals. He’s got the ability.

“But it’s all about confidence. Does Sam have the confidence to give Matt a regular place in his starting line-up?

“It’s difficult for Matt. It would be a shame to see him leave because he’s a local lad - he’s got Blackburn Rovers in his blood.

“It would be nice for him to stay because he’s got the ability and you know he’ll always give 100 percent.

“But if he stays, he needs regular games. That’s what he wants at this stage of his career.

“If they lose Roque Santa Cruz, he may get that chance. It would be disappointing if Blackburn sold both of them, unless they replace them with genuine quality. But Sam knows what he is doing.”

Jansen, who scored 57 goals for Rovers in 182 appearances, has nothing but praise for the Blackburn boss, who he teamed up with at Bolton following his release at Ewood Park in early 2006.

And now, the 31-year-old, who earlier this week joined UniBond outfit Leigh Genesis as player-coach, anticipates future success for Rovers under Allardyce.

“I love Big Sam. He’s a great manager and he’s done a great job in the short time he’s been at Blackburn Rovers,” said Jansen.

“He turned it around after a difficult time last season, and I think he'll take them to better things next season.

“Sam has been known for getting off to a good start with his sides.

“It’s all about his preparation - Sam is second to none in that department. He’ll make sure Blackburn are more than ready for the new season.”