Singh: Promotion is minimum expectation for Blackburn Rovers’ new boss
GLOBAL advisor Shebby Singh has thrown down the gauntlet to Blackburn Rovers’ new boss Henning Berg after warning he has to deliver an instant Premier League return.
The 43-year-old Norwegian was unveiled at a press conference yesterday, ahead of taking charge for tomorrow’s Championship trip to Crystal Palace, with the outspoken Singh leaving no one in any doubt as to what is expected of him.
Singh has promised Berg there will be funds available to strengthen Rovers’ promotion charge and believes the former defender is relishing the pressure piled on him.
Berg put pen to paper on a three-year deal on Tuesday evening and will assess his backroom staff over the coming days as he starts to plan for the future.
But Singh said: “Promotion is the minimum and the maximum.
“We have emphasised that time and again.
“But the most important thing is that Henning welcomes the pressure, he welcomes the challenge.
“He didn’t sit in front of us and say ‘I need three years to build a team or two seasons to get them promoted’. He said ‘I know what you want and I want to be the man to deliver that’.
“Financially we are on a par with every other club at this level, we all know going into the Premier League is very important.
“We would not like to be categorised as being a club in a dire situation or in dire straits – but we share the same pressure as every other club in the Championship.”
When asked what happened if promotion was not achieved, Singh replied: “I wish you hadn’t asked me that question. It’s too early.
“What we have now are two strong individuals who only think positively and only think of success.
“Now we want to put our resources together and make sure there are no ifs and buts. The targets are very clear between us.”
Singh has described Berg’s appoi-ntment as the start of a new chapter for the club, after recognising Rovers fans have suffered a miserable past couple of years.
Rovers fans have voiced their anger at Venky’s stewardship of the club, which has seen relegation from the Premier League and Steve Kean’s disastrous managerial tenure, but Singh hopes everyone can now focus on the future.
“Finally the (drawing of the) line is completed,” he said. “There’s a full stop. Today is a new chapter.
“For me it has been an experience. I have become everybody’s favourite punch bag, but so be it.
“What is important is that the club progresses. That’s the important thing. It’s not about the individual, it’s about the club.”
“When January comes and Henning says he needs to strengthen the squad, we will go out and get it for him.
“Whatever has happened has happened. Like I said, there’s a full stop at the end of the line and it’s a new chapter now. Henning is the man in charge.”
“What is very important now is to make sure that we try to foresee any problems that might crop up. Prevention is better than cure. I hope the cure has been completed and now we can look to preventing.
“I understand only too well the passion of the fans. I have had to bear the brunt of it over the last couple of weeks. But I have worked closely with the fans as well.
“Its been a learning experience. When you are thousands of miles away you understand the passion but it’s only when you get here and get among the fans that you realise they are the heart of the club.
“I’m happy the fans have been very supportive. Not everyone has the same level of patience – but slowly but surely we are getting it right.”