Pedersen praise for Rovers

For the first time in four months, and for only the second time

this season, Rovers elevated themselves out of the relegation zone

on the back of Saturday’s resilient 3-1 win at home to Fulham.

It may only be for a short period should QPR claim a point at

Newcastle, or Wigan somehow find a way to beat Manchester City on

Monday.

But for beleaguered boss Steve Kean and his under-pressure

players, Sunday’s newspapers do at least offer a crumb of comfort

as they see themselves in 17th.

Bottom at Christmas, and we know the statistic that only one

team in Premier League history has ever survived from that

position, Rovers have now taken seven points from their last four

games.

And if ever a result proved Blackburn can survive this season,

then it came at Ewood Park on Saturday after going down to 10 men

in the 23rd minute when Ayegbeni Yakubu was shown a red card for

the first time in his nine-year career in English football.

Pedersen, who scored Blackburn’s opener with virtually the last

touch of the first half with a low 20-yard free-kick, underlined

the relief felt within the team at their new-found status.

“Of course, it’s a fantastic feeling after what has been such a

tough time, and we haven’t had much luck,” said Pedersen.

“We’ve showed it’s possible after so many negative things going

around all over the place.

“There are still plenty of tough games coming up, but it’s good

to just get the win to get out of it.

“It’s a great win, one we deserved, which gives us a little bit

of confidence, but now we have to build on it.

“After beating Manchester United recently we then let ourselves

down against Stoke.

“So when we get back on the training ground we just have to

start working hard again.

“But it will be good to go into the next game (at Everton next

Saturday) on the back of a win and with a good feeling.”

Yakubu’s red card for a high, studs-showing tackle on Danny

Murphy actually galvanised Blackburn rather than set them back.

Pedersen’s strike was perfect timing, as was the second from

David Dunn coming just 56 seconds into the second half.

When former Rovers winger Damien Duff pulled one back in the

54th minute, there was still plenty of time for Fulham to salvage

something from the game.

Instead, it was Blackburn who were the more forthright team, and

they deserved their third from Mauro Formica 11 minutes from

time.

“We were unlucky to get Yakubu sent off, but we didn’t sit back,

we kept our formation and kept two up front,” added Pedersen.

“We didn’t want to defend, we wanted to attack, and it succeeded

for us.

“Everybody showed discipline, we worked hard, and you get a

little extra energy when you are scoring goals.”

The result also kept happy the paltry 18,003 crowd – Rovers’

lowest in the league since October 2008 – with the latest protest

prior to the game but a sideshow and forgotten about come the final

whistle.

“I wasn’t aware the crowd was so low,” said Kean.

“We hope the fans who did stay away have genuine reasons, and

that with this performance and result it drags them back.

“There were players out there dying for the cause to drag us out

of this horrible position we’re in.

“The result takes us out of the bottom there, which

psychologically is very important at this stage.”

From Fulham it was a feeble performance, one which leaves them

six points above the drop zone, and with boss Martin Jol conceding

they are now looking over their shoulders.

“This was a squandered opportunity,” said Jol.

“For the first half hour we were the better team and it was

almost too easy, but we didn’t play at a high tempo.

“At 2-1 I really thought we would repair the damage, and

although I don’t think we played bad in the second half, if you

concede three then you are always going to make it difficult for

yourself.”