Football: BLACK and Blue BURN; Bellamy Joins Ewood Bruise Brothers as Sparky Orders: Carry on Clogging

Article excerpt

Byline: Alan NIXON

TOUGH-talking Blackburn boss Mark Hughes has ordered his Ewood Park brothers in arms to carry on scrapping

Craig Bellamy's arrival at Ewood sees him team up with fellow feisty Welshman Robbie Savage, Scottish terrier Paul Dickov and enforcer Andy Todd in a football version of the Usual Suspects.

But boss Hughes grinned in pleasure at the thought of unleashing his four wild Rovers on the Premiership next season - and adding to the club's X-rated reputation.

Blackburn were accused of roughing up Chelsea in a Premiership clash at Ewood early last season, and Arsenal fans branded them cloggers after their FA Cup semi-final meeting in April.

"These guys all want to do well and make no apologies for that. It's a good trait to have," said Hughes.

"Craig Bellamy has got a desire to win, it's in his make-up. It's an intense will and you need that at this level.

"I needed more options up front because we didn't have enough last season. We've also now got Shefki Kuqi to give us a physical presence if we need it."

The signing of Bellamy has made Blackburn hot favourites with bookies totesport to finish top of the Premiership bad-boy league.

Hughes's bruisers are 9-2 in a market which allocates points for red and yellow cards. "The way Blackburn kicked Arsenal off the park in the FA Cup semi-final proves that they have a nasty streak about them," said spokesman Paul Petrie.

But Bellamy has not been brought to Ewood to spark trouble. …