Singh wants Berg to deliver
Blackburn global advisor Shebby Singh has challenged new manager Henning Berg to realise the club's ambition of promotion.
Former Rovers defender Berg was presented as Ewood Park boss on a three-year contract on Thursday, bringing a protracted month-long search for Steve Kean's successor to a close. Despite such off-field turmoil and the backdrop of a dissatisfied fanbase, Blackburn lie fifth in the npower Championship ahead of Berg's first game against Crystal Palace.
"At this moment I think the ambition is clear - we have to get back into the Premier League," said Singh, who was brought in by Rovers' owners Venky's on the back of relegation from the top flight last season.
"There's no other consideration, there's no other thoughts. I think we've put a nice balanced squad together. A big squad where we have players for the short-term, we have players for the long-term and the immediate-term. Henning's here now and when he looks at the squad, if he feels whichever term needs to be reinforced we will do that."
Any impression of immediate pressure must be tempered by the fact that an extensive recruitment process left Singh lauding the qualities Berg has honed throughout a decorated spell in the game.
The 43-year-old former Norway international won the Premier League title under Kenny Dalglish with Rovers before moving on to a trophy-laden spell with Sir Alex Ferguson's formidable Manchester United side of the late 1990s. And Singh feels former Lyn Oslo and Lillestrom boss Berg bears the hallmarks of both men.
"When you talk to him you can see certain qualities that over the years you have seen Sir Alex Ferguson express in his interviews, Kenny Dalglish express in his interviews," he said. "Obviously Henning has learnt a lot from the great managers that he's worked with and at the end of the day we feel that we've got the right person."
Having been linked with names from Alan Shearer to Harry Redknapp and, latterly and perhaps most fancifully, Diego Maradona, it comes as little surprise that Berg was not Rovers' first choice.
The man who chalked up 297 appearances across two playing spells at Ewood made contact with Blackburn chief executive Derek Shaw shortly after Kean resigned to end his trouble reign and, like Singh, the former Preston chairman was quickly won round,
"No he wasn't our first choice, far from it - we're not hiding anything there," said Shaw, who worked alongside Singh and general manager Paul Agnew during the manager hunt. "We had one or two people that we talked to who, for whatever reason, got ruled in and ruled out. Henning contacted me personally probably seven or eight days after Steve left."
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