Football: Blackburn out to dispel jibes: Glenn Moore expects a straightforward passage for Dalglish's men

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The Independent Online
TONIGHT Blackburn Rovers will finally lay to rest a local jibe that no amount of big spending, stand- building or championship-chasing has been able to banish. For European football has finally come to Ewood Park and the one barb supporters of nearby rivals Burnley have been able to hurt them with during their rise will lose its sting.

Burnley were one of the first English clubs in Europe, the 1959- 60 Championship-winning side of Jimmy McIlroy, John Connelly, Ray Pointer and Brian Miller reaching the quarter-finals of the European Cup, beating the 1959 finalists Stade de Reims on the way.

Blackburn make their bow in the Uefa Cup against Swedish part-timers Trelleborgs and though manager Kenny Dalglish was making cautious noises, they are expected to win with ease.

Dalglish has more European experience than both sides combined; though he was understandably loathe to reflect yesterday on the tragic events surrounding his last match - the 1985 European Cup final at the Heysel stadium.

Unlike Alex Ferguson at Manchester United Dalglish has no problems with Uefa's foreigners restrictions. Australian Robbie Slater, Norwegian Henning Berg and Scot Colin Hendry are the only non-Englishmen and though the side is short on European

experience it does feature seven internationals. There is also Chris Sutton, who was in the Norwich side that defeated Bayern Munich last year.

It is a European debut, however, for Tony Gale, released on a free transfer by West Ham last year and probably still pinching himself in disbelief at subsequent events. Although his 18th season as a first team player seems a bit late to test the theory but he always seemed a natural to play the continental style.

Trelleborgs, who come from the southern tip of Sweden, qualified by finishing fourth in their league, 17 points behind champions Gothenburg who play at Old Trafford tomorrow. They have never won either league or cup, have a ground so small that even Wimbledon might occasionally fill it and are currently mid-table.

Blackburn (probable): Flowers; Berg, Hendry, Gale, Le Saux; Ripley, Slater, Sherwood, Wilcox; Shearer, Sutton.

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