Blackburn Rovers-Hull City Preview

Dec 10, 2009 - 5:17 PM CHRIS TUPLING STATS European Football Writer=

LONDON (SE) - Defender Chris Samba has vowed to put his Wembley dreams on hold when Blackburn travel to Hull on Saturday to concentrate on staying in the Premier League.

Blackburn face Aston Villa in a two-legged semi final in January with a place in the League Cup final at stake.

Centre back Samba says league points take priority over the battle for cup silverware.

"There is a lot to look forward to," said Samba. "We have a semi-final, I don't think we could have a better chance to get to a final and of course we will do our hardest to get to the final and win.

"We are determined to something in the Carling (League) Cup and it would be a disappointment, if we didn't manage that.

"We are not only focused on the Carling Cup though, that comes and goes so quickly. We want to improve in the league so we have to stay focused on that."

Blackburn's 2-1 win at the KC Stadium in March provided the springboard to avoiding relegation.

Samba added: "It was a good win at Hull last season. We are not in the same position now though.

"Last time we were really struggling, and were scrapping for points just to stay up, this season we are in a much better position and are not approaching the game the same way.

"We are looking upwards and not down. We have to beat Hull if we want to climb up the league.

"There are a lot of points on the board and we could be surprised where we can finish, certainly in the top half."

Hull goalkeeper Matt Duke has warned fit-again Boaz Myhill he faces a battle to regain his place as the Tigers' number one.

Duke is currently enjoying his longest run in the side after starting the last six games while Myhill recovers from a knee injury.

"It's what I want to do, I want to play for the first team," said Duke. "I can only do my best on the pitch and if I perform well, fingers crossed I can keep my place in the side.

"Boaz obviously wants to play and that puts pressure on me, but there's no more pressure than playing in the Premier League anyway.

"I've always tried to keep my head down and work hard for your opportunity. As long as I do well, hopefully I can hold on to my place."

Duke has conceded 12 goals in his six appearances but was criticised for his role in last weekend's 3-0 hammering at Aston Villa after being caught off his line and chipped by James Milner.

Duke added: "I have been fairly pleased with my performances but I think I can be better.

"We have conceded a lot of goals and although I am sure you fans would love a 4-3 win every week, ideally you want clean sheets.

"You never like to concede too many goals but the flipside in the last few weeks has been us going forward better."






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