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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 May, 2005, 12:00 GMT 13:00 UK
Emerton hails the Hughes effect
Blackburn manager Brett Emerton
Blackburn midfielder Brett Emerton has praised the achievement of boss Mark Hughes in steering the club away from the relegation zone.

Hughes took over as manager in September after Graeme Souness left for Newcastle - and Emerton said: "It is a huge achievement.

"When Mark came in we were in a bit of disarray but from the day he arrived we worked on our fitness.

"Everyone is better for that and it has shown in our performances."

Blackburn had not won a game in the Premiership this season at the time of Souness' departure.

And Emerton admitted that after a difficult campaign he is happy the club have preserved their Premiership status.

"The relegation issue has gone to the final games as I expected and I am just glad not to be part of it," added Emerton.

"It is a huge relief to be in our situation, although we had the confidence and belief we could get ourselves out of trouble."

The Australian is in his second season at the club after joining from Dutch side Feyenoord.

"Fighting relegation is not what I expected," he said.

"It has been two tough years. But if we get in some new players then a mid-table place at least has to be our goal next season."


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