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    Rovers have completed their first signing of the current transfer window.
    Turkish international Yildiray Basturk has signed initially until the end of the season. The 31-year-old playmaker has been signed from Stuttgart.
    Talking to the official Rovers website (www.rovers.co.uk) Basturk expressed his delight at signing for Rovers: "I had contact with Blackburn for three months and I spoke to Tugay and he said it is a very good club and to come here and try the last few years."
    Rovers fans will be hoping that Basturk can have the same impact that Tugay had on the club.

    Kamy

    Rovers Bow Out Of Carling Cup

    By Kamy, in Matches,

    Rovers' Carling Cup run came to an end after a night of high drama at Villa Park last night.
    Trailing 1-0 after the first leg, Rovers faced an uphill task against Villa. However, 26 minutes into the game Rovers' fans dared to dream as 2 goals from the impressive Kalinic put Rovers on course for an amazing victory. Villa looked nervous and ponderous, whilst Rovers were inspired.
    The game-changing moment arrived on 30 minutes. Ashley Young's speculative cross was heading towards Nelsen, and he was pushed from behind by Agbonlahor. Inexplicably the referee allowed play to go on and former Rover Stephen Warnock poked the ball home to draw Villa level on aggregate. Warnock's muted celebration was a credit to him. Things got worse for Rovers on 36 minutes when Samba's rash challenge resulted in him being sent off and Villa awarded a penalty, which was converted by Milner.
    The second half began with Villa rampant. They were soon 5-2 as Rovers crumbled and it seemed that this would turn into a real rout. However, Rovers dug deep and goals from Olsson and Emerton made it 5-4 on the night and Villa nerves started to jangle again. Alas, though, as Rovers pushed forward they were hit on the break and Ashley Young finished the tie as a contest with a well-taken goal.
    So, a night of high drama sees Rovers bow out at the Semi-Final stage again. Fans can be proud of the team last night and who knows what could have happened had decisions gone Rovers' way in the first half. Congratulations to Villa on reaching the final — they just about deserved to win it over the two legs.

    MANAGERS' COMMENTS
    Sam Allardyce:
    "It's a bit difficult to take, scoring four goals and not getting through to the final," reflected Allardyce.
    "We were in complete control of the game, and if anybody was going to score again it was us.
    "But then the referee allows a blatant foul on Ryan Nelsen to go unpunished, and at this level you have to make sure the referee gets those decisions right.
    "We are out of a cup final because of that decision perhaps. It is a major decision that has stopped us having the chance to go to Wembley.
    "Whatever anybody might say, we were put in a position we should not have been put in.
    "It lifted the crowd, it lifted Villa because they were playing very poorly, and then they are on their game.
    "You could look at the fourth goal and say Agbonlahor had two arms on it and deflected it into the net for 4-2.
    "Everybody thinks it's over, we're down to 10 men anyway, but then we managed to get back to 5-4.
    "But the major part of us not getting through to the final is the referee, no question about it.
    "Unfortunately, we have to suffer that. There's nothing we can do about it and we can't go to where we want to go, which is Wembley, and he is the major factor."
    "There are obviously some areas where we can shoulder the blame for giving the goals away," added Allardyce.
    "We've conceded six goals, and some of those we could have stopped, but the critical stage of the game is there for everybody to see.
    "The big problem is that if a big decision goes against you at a critical time in the game, it makes a massive difference.
    "It was a gallant effort.
    "They didn't feel sorry for themselves and kept going to the very end.
    "I've nothing but praise for the way they've applied themselves in the end."
    Martin O'Neill:
    "There were two games to play and I have to say, overall, I thought that we thoroughly deserved to go to Wembley," O'Neill told reporters.
    "And I am genuinely delighted for the players. They showed tremendous character to come from two goals down.
    "The team really grew up, because that was certainly not the way we planned things to happen," added O'Neill, whose side are now a match away from winning Villa's first major trophy since they last lifted the League Cup in 1996.
    "Blackburn gave us a real jolt and we were very nervous and anxious. I don't think we were complacent at all."

    vdb

    Rovers Bow Out Of Carling Cup

    By vdb, in Matches,

    Rovers' Carling Cup run came to an end after a night of high drama at Villa Park last night.
    Trailing 1-0 after the first leg, Rovers faced an uphill task against Villa. However, 26 minutes into the game Rovers' fans dared to dream as 2 goals from the impressive Kalinic put Rovers on course for an amazing victory. Villa looked nervous and ponderous, whilst Rovers were inspired.
    The game-changing moment arrived on 30 minutes. Ashley Young's speculative cross was heading towards Nelsen, and he was pushed from behind by Agbonlahor. Inexplicably the referee allowed play to go on and former Rover Stephen Warnock poked the ball home to draw Villa level on aggregate. Warnock's muted celebration was a credit to him. Things got worse for Rovers on 36 minutes when Samba's rash challenge resulted in him being sent off and Villa awarded a penalty, which was converted by Milner.
    The second half began with Villa rampant. They were soon 5-2 as Rovers crumbled and it seemed that this would turn into a real rout. However, Rovers dug deep and goals from Olsson and Emerton made it 5-4 on the night and Villa nerves started to jangle again. Alas, though, as Rovers pushed forward they were hit on the break and Ashley Young finished the tie as a contest with a well-taken goal.
    So, a night of high drama sees Rovers bow out at the Semi-Final stage again. Fans can be proud of the team last night and who knows what could have happened had decisions gone Rovers' way in the first half. Congratulations to Villa on reaching the final — they just about deserved to win it over the two legs.

    MANAGERS' COMMENTS
    Sam Allardyce:
    "It's a bit difficult to take, scoring four goals and not getting through to the final," reflected Allardyce.
    "We were in complete control of the game, and if anybody was going to score again it was us.
    "But then the referee allows a blatant foul on Ryan Nelsen to go unpunished, and at this level you have to make sure the referee gets those decisions right.
    "We are out of a cup final because of that decision perhaps. It is a major decision that has stopped us having the chance to go to Wembley.
    "Whatever anybody might say, we were put in a position we should not have been put in.
    "It lifted the crowd, it lifted Villa because they were playing very poorly, and then they are on their game.
    "You could look at the fourth goal and say Agbonlahor had two arms on it and deflected it into the net for 4-2.
    "Everybody thinks it's over, we're down to 10 men anyway, but then we managed to get back to 5-4.
    "But the major part of us not getting through to the final is the referee, no question about it.
    "Unfortunately, we have to suffer that. There's nothing we can do about it and we can't go to where we want to go, which is Wembley, and he is the major factor."
    "There are obviously some areas where we can shoulder the blame for giving the goals away," added Allardyce.
    "We've conceded six goals, and some of those we could have stopped, but the critical stage of the game is there for everybody to see.
    "The big problem is that if a big decision goes against you at a critical time in the game, it makes a massive difference.
    "It was a gallant effort.
    "They didn't feel sorry for themselves and kept going to the very end.
    "I've nothing but praise for the way they've applied themselves in the end."
    Martin O'Neill:
    "There were two games to play and I have to say, overall, I thought that we thoroughly deserved to go to Wembley," O'Neill told reporters.
    "And I am genuinely delighted for the players. They showed tremendous character to come from two goals down.
    "The team really grew up, because that was certainly not the way we planned things to happen," added O'Neill, whose side are now a match away from winning Villa's first major trophy since they last lifted the League Cup in 1996.
    "Blackburn gave us a real jolt and we were very nervous and anxious. I don't think we were complacent at all."

    Kamy
    After last night's 1-0 defeat against Aston Villa in the first leg of the Carling Cup Semi-Final, Rovers manager Sam Allardyce is hoping for a change of luck. He said: "I don't know what is up with us at the moment. We don't seem to be getting the rub of the green. I am just wondering what I have done in life to deserve such bad luck.
    "But we need to keep believing and keep creating chances. It will eventually go our way, I am sure of that. Hopefully we can take encouragement from our second-half performance.
    "We were nervous in the first half and the quality of the opposition drove us back. We gave away a very poor goal.
    "Villa's strength is playing on the break. In the space of a few seconds they scored. We never took up the right positions and paid the ultimate price.
    "That made us more nervous and edgy. We put that right in the dressing room at half-time and deserved to pull level. But that's football for you at this level."
    Rovers have now gone nine games without a win and face Fulham at Ewood Park on Sunday.

    vdb

    Big Sam: We Need A Change Of Luck

    By vdb, in Matches,

    After last night's 1-0 defeat against Aston Villa in the first leg of the Carling Cup Semi-Final, Rovers manager Sam Allardyce is hoping for a change of luck. He said: "I don't know what is up with us at the moment. We don't seem to be getting the rub of the green. I am just wondering what I have done in life to deserve such bad luck.
    "But we need to keep believing and keep creating chances. It will eventually go our way, I am sure of that. Hopefully we can take encouragement from our second-half performance.
    "We were nervous in the first half and the quality of the opposition drove us back. We gave away a very poor goal.
    "Villa's strength is playing on the break. In the space of a few seconds they scored. We never took up the right positions and paid the ultimate price.
    "That made us more nervous and edgy. We put that right in the dressing room at half-time and deserved to pull level. But that's football for you at this level."
    Rovers have now gone nine games without a win and face Fulham at Ewood Park on Sunday.

    Kamy
    Rovers have confirmed the new date for the 1st leg of the Carling Cup Semi-Final.
    The Carling Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg game against Aston Villa to be played at Ewood Park has now been re-arranged to take place on Thursday 14th January and will kick-off at 8pm.
    Consequently, our Premier League game at home against Fulham has moved to Sunday 17th January, with a 3pm kick-off.
    The Carling Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg game at Villa Park will remain on the 20th January with a 7.45pm kick-off.
    Please note that the Premier League fixture at Manchester City will remain on Monday 11th January 2010, 8pm kick-off.

    vdb
    Rovers have confirmed the new date for the 1st leg of the Carling Cup Semi-Final.
    The Carling Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg game against Aston Villa to be played at Ewood Park has now been re-arranged to take place on Thursday 14th January and will kick-off at 8pm.
    Consequently, our Premier League game at home against Fulham has moved to Sunday 17th January, with a 3pm kick-off.
    The Carling Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg game at Villa Park will remain on the 20th January with a 7.45pm kick-off.
    Please note that the Premier League fixture at Manchester City will remain on Monday 11th January 2010, 8pm kick-off.

    Kamy

    Rovers Stop The Rot

    By Kamy, in Matches,

    Rovers claimed a vital point today in an entertaining clash against Wigan at the DW Stadium.
    Benni McCarthy gave Rovers the lead on 30 minutes scoring from close range. Wigan came back in the second half and equalised through Hugo Rodallega who powered home a close-range header.
    The football on show was not for the purists but neither side was prepared to settle for a point though and a frenetic second-half ensued.
    Jason Scotland fluffed a one-on-one with Paul Robinson and McCarthy had an overhead kick saved by Chris Kirkland.
    Sam Allardyce felt that Rovers deserved to claim three points: "We are sat here hugely disappointed and very down in the mouth in terms of we know we should have had three points to get us that bit further up the league. We've come out here and matched them in every department."
    Rovers now face Sunderland on Monday, with the table being so congested a win could see Rovers climb into the top 10, whereas a defeat could see Rovers slip into the relegation zone.

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