1st January, 2012
Blackburn boss, Steve Kean, says Nigerian Yakubu Aiyegbeni will fire his team out of the relegation zone in the English Premier League- and claimed the burly striker is as fit as he’s ever been.
Mirror Sports reports that despite being forced to play a lone attacking role for a team that has been battling against relegation for most of the season, the out of favour Super Eagles player has still managed to notch an impressive 13 goals this season, 12 of them in the league.
Yakubu added another two during Blackburn’s stunning win at Manchester United yesterday.
It leaves him fifth in the Premier League scoring charts, and only five adrift of Golden Boot favourite Robin van Persie, whose performances at Arsenal have attracted such attention this term.
Van Persie’s importance to the Gunners cannot be understated.
But the same is also true of Yakubu, a bargain Â£1.5million arrival from Everton on transfer deadline day.
“It is fairly obvious,” said Kean. “When you see the amount of goals he has got now, we are desperate to keep him fit.
“We look after him. He is in as good a physical condition as he has been in his career and we manage him during the week.
“There are times when we need to give him an extra recovery day because of the amount of mileage he is doing.
“We don’t ask him to run to the channels. We just ask him to play the width of the box.
“We know if we can give him good service, he can get himself some goals.”
And history suggests that could give Blackburn a valuable edge in their battle for survival.
For the clubs who end up sliding into the npower Championship are usually the ones who struggle to score.
“We don’t have a problem scoring goals,” said Kean. “We always score. We have scored in every single away game this season.
“The problem we have is the amount of defenders we have injured.
“We have never had a settled back four and we have still to get a clean sheet.”
The next test comes against Stoke at Ewood Park tomorrow.