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Arsenal can lay down a marker

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By ESPN Staff

Rovers boss Hughes excited about the future

Mark Hughes believes Blackburn could be on the verge of something special because of the buoyant mood of his players.

A goal from Benni McCarthy was enough to secure a 1-0 victory against Manchester City and continue Rovers' bright start to the season.

Manager Hughes said: 'There is a change in the dressing room. The atmosphere has always been good but it is a bit more intense now. The players have confidence in themselves and in their team-mates.

'We are excited about what is happening, although it is very early days yet.''

South Africa striker McCarthy scored his first goal of the campaign after amassing 24 in all competitions last season.

He found the target from close range after Christopher Samba and Roque Santa Cruz got touches from David Bentley's corner.

Blackburn are now unbeaten in 14 matches stretching back to last season and look formidable opponents.

Hughes said: 'We played extremely well. It was an excellent performance and we are in good shape.

'I do not think City have faced a team of such a high intensity like us.

'We were strong and energetic. So many players could have got man of the match.''

Both sides finished with 10 men. Tugay of Blackburn and City skipper Richard Dunne were sent off in the second half and will serve one-match bans.

City have now lost their last two Barclays Premier League games after three straight victories.

But manager Sven-Goran Eriksson is not too concerned at the moment.

He said: 'The future will be good. I am not worried about that.

'I am quite confident in the players I have. You can feel this is a good football team.''

Yet, despite playing some neat football, City failed to ask that many questions of goalkeeper Brad Friedel.

Eriksson said: 'We created too few chances. We were not good at that.

'I am disappointed we did not do better. We should not have lost this match. We have to be stronger in the last third of field. That's why I brought on (Emile) Mpenza for (Michael) Johnson.''

Meanwhile, Blackburn midfielder Robbie Savage was given the all-clear after a scan on his injured leg revealed there was no damage.