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Berra At The Double

PUBLISHED

09:00 11th January 2013

Defender targets Blackburn boost

Christophe Berra is hoping Wolves can mark a new start under new boss Dean Saunders at Molineux tonight (7.45pm) by chalking up their first double of the season.

The central defender has said Saunders’ arrival has “brightened the place up” this week, and now wants Wolves to take all that spirit out onto the pitch to try and recover from four successive defeats.

The Scottish international knows Rovers – who are five places and four points above Wolves in the table – will prove tough opposition particularly on the back of three successive wins.

“It’s going to be a tough game because they have some good players and have been on a decent little run,” he said.

“But we know we can beat them having won at their place.

“It’s a chance for us to mark this new start with a first double of the season.

“It’s in front of our fans who have been great despite our recent results, especially away from home at Luton.

“That game kind of summed up how we were going and the change has followed but the fans stayed with us.”

On the impact of Saunders’ arrival Berra added:  “The new manager has come in and been very enthusiastic and brightened the place up.

“That is something we have to take on and take out onto the pitch and apply ourselves in what he wants us to do in tonight’s game.

“In training he has been very hands-on and of course the first few days are always a bit different because a new manager is keen to get his ideas across.

“Training has been high tempo and the boys have enjoyed it.

“He wants us all to work hard and we have done that and know what is required.

“If you are a top player and want to be the best you have to work as hard as you can.

“The gaffer has already mentioned Barcelona in terms of the work they do when they haven’t got the ball to get it back and that is why they have so much success.

“Teams like Barcelona, Manchester United – all the top sides in the world work their socks off and that is what we need to do as well.

“We don’t have the same ability as those teams but there is no reason why we can’t show the same workrate and that does make up for a lot.”

Berra has only missed one league game for Wolves this season and indeed has been a first team regular for almost all of his four years at the club.

But he knows that the arrival of a new manager offers a clean slate to everyone in the squad, whether they have been figuring week-in week-out or looking on from the fringes.

“It’s a clean slate for everyone whether you’ve been in the team or not,” he confirms.

“If you’re not playing well you won’t be in the team, simple as that.

“So anyone that is in the team has got to keep their standards high and not let their performance levels drop.

“Players want to do well individually and show what they are capable of and when that happens then the team will play well too.

“It will be a different team from us, different tactics and a different style of play and hopefully we are going to start putting some points on the board.”

To do that Wolves will tonight need to keep quiet one of Berra’s international team-mates from the Tartan Army – Jordan Rhodes.

The emerging striker has notched 18 goals since moving to Blackburn last summer, not to mention an extra three for his country.

“He’s a very good player and also a nice guy who is mature and has a level head,” says Berra.

“Whatever happens to him he is not going to get carried away.

“His goalscoring record speaks for itself and we know he is a player we will need to keep our eye on for the whole game.

“He’s worked his way up and met every challenge – he’s a goalscorer and if you’ve got one of them in your team you’ve always got a chance.

“We managed to keep him quiet in the away game and will need to do that again tonight.”

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