BENJANI is determined to prove he can still make a Premier League impact – and insists a full pre-season is the key to making the most of his Ewood Park lifeline.

The former Zimbabwe international told the Lancashire Telegraph last night a new one-year deal at the club had been agreed and, having reported back for training at Brockhall yesterday, stressed the importance of ‘hitting the ground running’ this time around.

Rovers’ decision to offer the 32-year-old striker another contract has raised eyebrows among some supporters this summer, after scoring just three goals in 18 league appearances last campaign.

The former Manchester City and Portsmouth man insists he still has full confidence in his ability to score goals at the highest level but knows the hard work starts now if he is to silence the doubters.

Benjani struggled to make an impact at Rovers last season having spent most of the summer without a club and believes he will be better prepared for a real shot at it this campaign.

He said: “I have always wanted to stay at Blackburn Rovers and I am looking forward to the new season here. I know I have to work hard in pre season to get myself ready for it.

“I believe there is a lot more to come from me at this club and enjoying a full pre season will help me to show that. I was playing catch up for most of last season and it was difficult.

“I didn’t really enjoy a full pre season last summer and that was a big part of my problem. I just hope the injuries can stay away.”

Benjani arrived in England in 2006 when he joined Portsmouth and, after a slow start, scored 19 goals in 70 appearances to become a favourite on the south coast and earn him a move to Manchester City.

Injuries limited his chances at Eastlands though and, after scoring just four goals, was released in June 2010 before signing for Rovers a couple of months later.

“I have scored goals in the Premier League before but I can’t live on the past,” said Benjani. “I know I have to prove it again this season and I will be working hard to do that.

“What has happened before doesn’t matter. It is what happens from now and that is why I was back in training and am determined to work very hard.

“I am looking forward to the new season and glad to be back here.”

Rovers, meanwhile, remain on the hunt for a couple of new faces to boost their fire power, with Croatian striker Nikola Kalinic still expected to leave if an acceptable bid comes in for him.

A midfielder is also on Kean’s wish-list, while the Rovers boss is hoping to complete the signing of Monaco defender Cedric Mongongu this week.