Friedel calls on Rovers to show mettle after Uefa Cup letdown

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The Independent Football

Blackburn goalkeeper Brad Friedel has called on his side to learn lessons from their latest Uefa Cup experience. Rovers went down 3-2 in Germany on Wednesday night against Bayer Leverkusen in the first leg of their last-32 tie.

Friedel knows Blackburn cannot afford to be that generous tomorrow when they face Arsenal in the FA Cup. The veteran American was dismayed at the manner of the goals conceded as the club's six-match unbeaten run in Europe came to an end. However, with Shabani Nonda - three minutes from time - and David Bentley finding the target, Blackburn still have a realistic chance of progressing.

Friedel said: "We got lucky. I know we had a couple of good chances but we were far too open and left ourselves far too exposed. We gave them all their opportunities. It is something we will address.

"There was no marking on the first goal and a deflection led to the second, which would have been easily saved. For the third one, we gave the ball away about 20-30 yards from goal."

Influential midfielder Morten Gamst Pedersen should have recovered from an ankle injury in time for the second leg and Friedel said: "I know we can play much better than we did against Leverkusen.

"Those away goals could help us tremendously. But I don't know about us being favourites as we still have to win the second leg."

The Rovers manager Mark Hughes will monitor David Dunn's fitness ahead of the fifth-round match against Arsenal. The former Birmingham midfielder came off in the second half in Germany after struggling with a dead leg.

Christopher Samba and Bruno Berner are available to play after being ineligible for the Uefa Cup.

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