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Nuno Gomes focused on Blackburn task

In perhaps one of the most eye-catching transfers this summer, Blackburn Rovers surprised a few with their swoop for veteran Portuguese striker Nuno Gomes ahead of the clubs first campaign in the second tier following relegation from the Premier League last term.

The 36-year-old (pictured) has been around the block and back again, and most recently played for Braga in his homeland, following two illustrious spells for Benfica sandwiched by a spell in Italy with Fiorentina and his breakthrough back in the mid-90s with Boavista.

The latest move represents his first to these shores and just the second move abroad in his career, but the striker is more than aware of Blackburn’s history and what they must do to return to the top flight.

Gomes said: “I’m very happy to be here at this historic club. For me, it’s one of the historic, big clubs in England so I’m happy to play for Blackburn and I can’t wait to start.”

Indeed, Blackburn are one of an exclusive club of Premier League winners that only comprises four others in Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City and Gomes is under no illusions just how hard a task it will be to return to the top flight from a league notoriously difficult to negotiate in the Championship.

'Working hard'

Having already spoken to fellow Portuguese compatriots Ricardo Rocha and Jose Moreira who have played in this country, Gomes continued: “We’ve been working hard to be ready when the Championship starts.”

The second tier comprises many more midweek rounds of fixtures and the Saturday-midweek turnaround is something players such as Nuno Gomes will have not experienced as regularly before, and Steve Kean may be urged to use the veteran sparingly, with fellow new recruit Leon Best also waiting in the wings.

“In Portugal and also in Italy where I have played, this has not usually been the case. In the Championship and Premier League, these are different but this is a new experience for me and I will love it I’m sure.”

Blackburn Rovers aren’t one of the immediate favourites for promotion despite their size, history and prestige and start at 10/1 with the bookmakers to win the Championship next season.

Perhaps this outlook is related to how they finished last term with Steve Kean’s relationship with the home fans already gone past breaking point.

However, the Scot remains determined to silence the critics and ensure a swift transition back to the Premier League and with new recruits such as Nuno Gomes and Danny Murphy embodying years of experience, the Championship side have assembled a squad capable of challenging.

By Taylor Williams - Follow me on Twitter @Taylor_Will1989 - Visit my blog -

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