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By ESPN Staff
Dec 8, 2006

Hughes expresses fear over spate of takeovers

Blackburn manager Mark Hughes has admitted his concern at the wave of takeovers involving Premier League clubs.

West Ham and Aston Villa have been bought by new foreign owners this season while Newcastle, Blackburn's opponents tomorrow, and Manchester City are both in talks about a possible takeover.

Hughes fears the trend will mean more money becoming available to those clubs who were until now on a similar level to Rovers - with his side being left behind.

He said: 'It is a worry because the amount of success you are able to achieve has a direct relationship to the amount of finance that is able to back you.

'We are in a group of clubs that have a certain level that we can go up to, and there is a certain quality of player we aspire to bring to the club but can't do because of finances.

'The situation here is that any money generated is ploughed back into the club and is not taken out by shareholders, so that's one benefit.

'But the gap between the clubs who have huge financial backing is getting bigger so it will be more difficult for clubs such as Blackburn.

'But you just have to work hard with what you have got, and that improves you as a manager and a coach.'

Blackburn entertain Newcastle knowing that victory for either club would do much to shift them away from their uncomfortable positions on the fringes of the danger zone.

Hughes, though, is confident his side's impressive home form will stand them in good stead despite major injury problems.

He added: 'Our home form is going to be very important and was the base for a very good season last year.

'Both sides have been hit by injuries - they have Michael Owen and Damien Duff out - but we are confident we can get a good result.'

Hughes has marked out Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins as a possible threat for Newcastle.

'He's a livewire who works extremely hard for the team, has good pace and as with all strikers when they first come to the Premier League it's a little bit difficult for them but once they find their feet the quality usually comes to the fore,' said Hughes.

Martins won a highly-debatable penalty against Reading in midweek to turn the match Newcastle's way.

Hughes added: 'He played well in midweek by all accounts. It was a debatable penalty possibly, but there seems to be a prevalence of those these days.

'Certainly if you get a decision that helps you, then you take it but as we know to our cost this season there are others that go against you.'

Francis Jeffers' hopes of making a comeback from injury against Newcastle have been dashed after the striker broke down in training.

Jeffers missed the midweek defeat at Charlton and had hoped to have recovered from a groin injury but suffered a recurrence.

Tugay is expected to be restored to the starting line-up but Brett Emerton (hamstring), Zurab Khizanishvili (groin), and long-term absentees Steven Reid, Jason Roberts and Ryan Nelsen are all out as well.