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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May 5, 2006

Hughes keen to strengthen Rovers through the summer

Blackburn manager Mark Hughes is urging the club 'to push the boat out this summer' as he looks to significantly strengthen his squad.

Hughes fully appreciates the era of former benefactor Jack Walker, and the days of splashing out huge sums of money, have long passed.

The Welshman, who yesterday signed a new contract that guarantees his future at Ewood Park until at least 009, also knows there is now a chairman at the club in John Williams who is fully supportive.

What Hughes requires is for Williams and his board to go that extra mile should a transfer target prove financially elusive.

Hughes' cause is aided by the fact Blackburn have European football to look forward to next season after clinching sixth place in the Barclays Premiership with Tuesday's 1-0 win over champions Chelsea.

'The club's ambitions match mine,' confirmed Hughes, with that kind of thinking making a decision to pledge his future to Rovers an easy one.

'Any changes I have wanted to make, be it off the field or bringing in players, they've always supported everything I've tried to do.

'The chairman has been very active in that situation. You have to give him the right reasons as to why you want to do things and why you want to bring certain players in.

'But from that point onwards the club has backed me. Having the support of the chairman and the board is very important if you want to be successful as a club.

'That's one of the main reasons I felt I could commit to the club because I get support as and when I need it.

'Obviously, you have to understand where we are because gone are the days of spending huge amounts of money. I don't have that luxury.

'I think it's fair to say there is a limit when it comes to spending a certain amount on a player.

'But I'd like to think that because we have done better this season than we did last season then we will have more money.

'But it has to be the right player, and it may be we have to push that little bit harder to get that player in.

'Ideally there will be a figure the club would like to work with.

'But if the right player becomes available and he is a little bit more expensive then we may have to push the boat out, and I'm sure the club will.'

One of Hughes' key targets would appear to be a partner for 17-goal leading scorer Craig Bellamy, with Paul Dickov, Shefki Kuqi and on-loan Florent Sinama Pongolle playing their part this season.

Hughes appreciates player-of-the-season Bellamy needs support, not just in attack but from all areas, adding: 'We'll have to wait and see if further success is dependent on getting a partner for Craig.

'We've looked at different things this season, and the important thing is we have that cutting edge.

'Whatever players we bring in, that is what is required, as well as the right combination in attack.

'Craig has had a great season, has scored goals, and we need him to continue to do that, along with other players to supplement what he does.'

Hughes, meanwhile, is still waiting to hear if Michael Gray and Dickov are willing to sign new deals in the wake of the club clinching a UEFA Cup spot.

Dickov has consistently been linked with Sunday's final-day-of-the-season opponents Manchester City, and it remains to be seen if the Scot will be involved.

Centre-backs Ryan Nelsen and Andy Todd are out, while Steven Reid is doubtful with a back problem, although changes are to be made anyway as Hughes looks to give fringe players a game.