ERIC Black believes Blackburn Rovers’ forgotten man Simon Vukcevic has a “fresh chance” at Ewood Park – whoever finally takes the permanent reins.
Rovers’ caretaker boss will be monitoring the Montenegrin international closely in tonight’s World Cup qualifier against Ukraine in Kiev and insists the past ‘means nothing’.
Vukcevic has endured a nightmare first 14 months at Ewood after signing from Sporting Lisbon in August 2011, having made just 10 appearances last season and one in the league cup this time around.
But now, as the club continue to bide their time in the search for a new manager, Black believes Vukcevic, along with others, has the chance to stake their claim at the start of a new era.
Black will be paying close attention to Vukcevic’s international role as an attacking central midfielder this evening, having spent his Ewood career so far as a winger, as he prepares to continue in temporary charge for Saturday’s Championship trip to Derby County.
He said: “Of course it is a fresh chance for everyone, that has to be the case. There has to be, everyone at the club should see the what has happened as another opportunity.
“Every manager is different, everyone sees the game slightly different. “Everyone sees players with advantages and disadvantages.
“I would hope even the last few days people will be thinking ‘maybe I can show him here’. I hope that is the case.
“The manager is in the position to make the ultimate decision. If I feel somebody should be playing then I will play them.
“If someone shows me they can affect the outcome of a game on a Saturday then that is all I focus on. If they can affect that outcome in a positive manner then they won’t be far away from it.
“I want to see Simon in the international team. “I hear he plays in a different position and, probably my ignorance but Ididn’t know he played in a lot different position.
“He plays in central midfield and I want to see him to assess him. That is something I will look at.”
Meanwhile, Rovers are yet to make their move in the search for Steve Kean’s successor, with a number of options still open to them.
Former skipper Tim Sherwood is understood to remain global advisor Shebby Singh’s favoured choice but it remains highly unlikely that Spurs will make that possible.
Blackpool boss Ian Holloway and Molde manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are also understood to be on Rovers’ shortlist, with Barnsley manager Keith Hill and MK Dons boss Karl Robinson also under consideration.
Solskjaer yesterday told a Norwegian newspaper he would definitely see out the season with Molde, although their campaign ends next month.
“There will always be speculation when someone in England needs a new manager,” he said.
“There are surely 20 names who have been linked with Bolton now and it's natural that mine is among them. But it's not for me.
“Blackburn, Bolton, rumours crop up all the time. But I’m not that bothered about them.
“I'm absolutely certain I will see out the season here (with Molde), I can promise that.”