Blackburn have quality to avoid relegation says Yakubu

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The Independent Online

Blackburn striker Ayegbeni Yakubu insists his new team have the quality to avoid relegation despite a rocky start to the season.

Rovers are second-bottom of the Barclays Premier League without a point from three matches but the Nigeria international, who signed a three-year deal after moving from Everton for a fee in the region of £1million, said there was plenty of time to turn things around.

The 28-year-old was joined at Ewood Park on deadline day by Birmingham centre-back Scott Dann and with fellow newcomers Simon Vukcevic and Radosav Petrovic - together with January signings Mauro Formica and Ruben Rochina - still finding their feet he believes there is plenty of cause for optimism.

"There is a long way to go and when we get our first win we will be back," he said.

"We are not panicking about going down or staying up.

"Blackburn have been in the Premier League for a long time and with the quality we have we will be fine.

"They struggled against relegation last season but it would be nice to finish in the top half this season and I believe we can do it."

Yakubu found his options limited at Everton despite a lack of depth in the forward ranks and was farmed out to npower Championship side Leicester in the second half of last season.

However, he feels that spell - when he scored 11 times in 19 starts - has given him renewed belief in himself after a difficult time coming back from nearly a year out with an Achilles injury sustained in 2009.

"It is hard when you don't play for almost a year. Coming back it is the mentality which is important," he added.

"It is not easy sitting in the stands or sitting at home watching your colleagues playing football and it was frustrating for 10 months

"The spell at Leicester did me a lot of good, it was a shame we didn't get promotion but I have great memories from there.

"I was playing every week and it gave me my fitness back and I am ready to go.

"In the next three years I just want to score goals and entertain."

After buying mainly from overseas, manager Steve Kean was pleased to be able to invest in players with decent track records in the Premier League.

"We have managed to bring in fantastic quality on the last day," he said.

"Scott is a fantastic leader and more importantly he is a top player.

"He is going to be someone who will go on and, in future, will be captain material for us.

"It is important to sign players with Premier League experience. We have a young group and not many have that experience

"Scott and Yakubu's quality and leadership and the number games they have played will certainly help the younger ones and now there is going to be great competition for places."

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