Belfast Telegraph

Nelsen eyes Europe

Blackburn skipper Ryan Nelsen has set his sights on Europe this season.

After enjoying a stellar World Cup, in which New Zealand were the only team to return home unbeaten after drawing all three group games, the 33-year-old is now back at Ewood Park and preparing himself for Premier League battle once more.

"We are well capable of qualifying for Europe," said Nelson ahead of his side's opener against Everton.

"We have good stability in the team. It is extremely obvious we need new people in certain positions but the stability that the signings of Morten Gamst Pedersen, Phil Jones and the rest bring is hugely important for the club."

A seemingly annual search for a striker has so far proved fruitless, leaving Rovers facing exactly the same problem that prevented them climbing higher than 10th last term.

Manager Sam Allardyce has played down the effect a potential takeover could have in the short-term, although Nelsen does not require a unique insight to understand just what a difference it would make to a club whose funding through the late Jack Walker has now virtually dried up.

"Money can cause disharmony and it can disrupt a team," he reflected. "It has to be spent wisely.

"But if you give a manager the option of having it or not, I know which one they would take. If it does come through, the manager will probably do a back flip.

"You have to expect that with the experience of John Williams and Sam Allardyce in the transfer market, they would not be reckless."

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