Blackburn chase home points

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Graeme Souness is praying it will be third time lucky when Blackburn attempt to crack their home hoodoo in another relegation six-pointer on Saturday.

Graeme Souness is praying it will be third time lucky when Blackburn attempt to crack their home hoodoo in another relegation six-pointer on Saturday.

Rovers, teetering on the brink of the Premiership drop zone, racked up their sixth away success of the season at Fulham on Monday night, edging a rollercoaster contest 4-3. The victory meant that only Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Charlton have a better record on their travels than the Lancastrians.

But Blackburn's home form has been abysmal - they have won three, drawn three and lost 10 to register the worst home record in the top flight. And, to compound their problems, the last two defeats at Ewood Park have been against relegation rivals Portsmouth and Leeds.

Now Souness has challenged his side to end their five-month home victory drought when Leicester - six points below Rovers but with a game in hand - come to town at the weekend.

"We've shot ourselves in the foot as we can't win at home," he said. "We've failed against Portsmouth and Leeds at home in recent weeks. But now we play Leicester and we really have to nail them and win that one."

Victory was assured on Monday night by Jon Stead, the energetic 21-year-old who has scored four times in eight games. His impact on Rovers' relegation fight is all the more impressive as it is only three months since he was a striker for Huddersfield in the Third Division. Souness called for greater support from his team-mates for the £1.25m forward.

"He's one of our main players with the effort and ability he gives us," he said. "But anything he gives us is an absolute bonus and we can't rely on his goals to keep us in this league."

Stead struck after 74 minutes on Monday, firing the winner under Edwin van der Sar, who was to blame for two of the goals his side conceded. Andy Cole had put the visitors ahead with a close-range volley before Collins John scored twice - his second double in three days - to give Fulham a 2-1 lead at half-time.

Rovers hit back with Jon Douglas thumping home his first goal for the club and Lorenzo Amoruso's free-kick embarrassing Van der Sar. Luis Boa Morte levelled at 3-3 before Stead clinched three vital points.

However, the goals came after controversy at Loftus Road as Zat Knight appeared to head-butt Stead but escaped unpunished by the referee, Mike Dean, though the Football Association has requested a video of the incident. Souness said the centre-back should have been sent off and the Fulham manager, Chris Coleman, admitted his man made contact.

Dean missed the confrontation, which occurred when the pair were running back after a Fulham attack.

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