Date: 25th April 2008 at 12:51pm
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Harry Redknapp knows that the game with Blackburn this weekend will be a very tough one as Mark Hughes has moulded them into a quality side that are hard to beat as he told The News: ‘it’s a very tough game.

‘Look at their record away from home, they’ve only lost five games. Mark Hughes has done a great job there.

‘They are strong, organised and should have beaten United last week, they were unfortunate not to. They’ve got some great players, too’.

Some of these great players that he refers to are players that he had tried to sign, the Blackburn captain Ryan Nelsen – who he tried to sign last summer as well as the summer before, with it being that summer when it really looked like it might happen, with him now also revealing that Roque Santa Cruz was also someone he was tracking: ‘Last year I tried to sign Ryan Nelsen.

‘He’s a fantastic centre half, and I was interested in Santa Cruz last summer but then he went to Blackburn.

‘I’d been following him when he was at Bayern Munich, where he was unlucky with injuries. I didn’t get to speak to him, though.

‘Now he’s managed to have a good run of games at Blackburn. He’s a good all-round striker. They’ve got plenty of good players’.

However the man that he is most fearful of is David Bentley, with him full of praise for the England man who I also think is absolutely fantastic: ‘you look at him and he’s got everything, great skill, fantastic attitude and he’s versatile. He’s just a terrific footballer.

‘A few years ago he was at Arsenal not getting the matches so he’s gone elsewhere and it’s done his game the world of good.

‘It’s what the lad needed to do, there’s no point hanging around Arsenal and seeing what happens. He went out there and did it. Now look at him.

‘He’s so important to Blackburn and can play in quite a few positions. He can play off the striker or play out wide and always, always do a quality job.

‘He’s now being linked with some top clubs and I’m not surprised. Blackburn will be desperate to keep him, they really will.

‘Bentley’s the sort of player who will get games wherever he’s at. He’s that good.

‘He can be a top, top player for England and a regular in the side in the future without a doubt and we’ve got to watch him on Sunday’.

Blackburn are a quality outfit, they have shown this over the past couple of years. I do think we can win – if we want to – but this will be a tough, tough game without any doubt.

Most people think that our chances of finishing 5th went last weekend after defeat at Citeh but I am not so convinced. Clearly I was not working on the assumption that we would lose their, but always said this would be our ‘key’ game. If we win this we would fancy winning our final 2 games, so should Everton and Villa draw in the game after us on Sunday then I think we have a cracking chance of finishing 5th – and I do care about this even if the cup is more important.

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