Club Focus – Blackburn Rovers – Diouf focused on Rovers’ survival

He may not have scored since last December, but Senegalese striker Mame Biram Diouf is concentrating solely on keeping Blackburn Rovers up in the Premier League. Diouf, who is on loan from Manchester United, has had a relatively disappointing stint at Ewood Park so far, having scored just three league goals all season. This poor form has cast a shadow of doubt over his long-term future with his parent club. After all, if Diouf cannot find the back of the net or even a place in the starting line-up on a consistent basis for Rovers, how will he get into a side who can call upon the likes of Javier Hernandez, Dimitar Berbatov and Wayne Rooney to score their goals?

These doubts will remain in the minds of both Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers supporters, but the 23-year-old insists he is focused on the remainder of this season rather than worrying over what the future holds. According to the Lancashire Telegraph, Diouf said: “From now I can’t think about Manchester United and I won’t. My vision at the moment is just to play for Blackburn Rovers and to help them. We have got five games to play and it is all about that. We just have to survive and we have to do well and that is what I am focused on. At the end of the season we will see what happens but that does not matter at the moment.”

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Indeed, Rovers will need such commitment from each and every one of their players if they are to avoid being relegated. The Blues have failed to taste victory in their last nine league games, though they will be hoping to turn that around when Manchester City visit town on Monday night. Diouf may well be chosen to start in that game, with Roque Santa Cruz ineligible to face his parent club.

Meanwhile, Steve Kean could be boosted by the return of Junior Hoilett, who missed out against Everton with a hamstring injury. Hoilett has been the shining light for Rovers recently and his impressive performances under Kean have given everyone around Ewood Park hope ahead of the five remaining fixtures. Hoilett, who was not given much of a chance under former boss Sam Allardyce, is expected to feature on the right wing against City.

One player who will almost certainly start against Roberto Mancini’s side is former Real Madrid legend Michel Salgado. The Spaniard has played more league games than any other Rovers player this season and he was recently voted the Rovers Disabled Supporters Club’s Player of the Year. Salgado has been one of Rovers’ most consistent performers this season and although he lacks pace, the veteran defender makes up for this with great technique, vision and ability gained during his successful years at the Bernabeu. Rovers fans will be hoping Salgado can use his experience on Monday, where he could come up against the likes of David Silva or Adam Johnson.

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