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Page last updated at 12:00 GMT, Friday, 2 May 2008 13:00 UK

Blues link affected me - McCarthy

Blackburn striker Benni McCarthy
Benni McCarthy joined Blackburn from Porto in 2006

Blackburn striker Benni McCarthy has revealed his form has suffered this season after last summer's speculation that he was close to joining Chelsea.

McCarthy, 30, was heavily linked with a switch to the Blues and could have teamed up with then-Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who he played under at Porto.

McCarthy told BBC Radio Lancashire: "It is very unsettling for any player.

"Especially if you have done so well and there is a strong possibility that you may go there."

McCarthy also revealed he was in regular contact with Mourinho and now regrets that was the case.

"When Mourinho was coach [at Chelsea], I was always talking to him," he added.

"I should have changed that and hoped that we had a strictly good relationship as friends."

The South Africa international admitted he has found it hard to concentrate at Ewood Park this season.

"It does disturb a player if it's a club that is playing in the Champions League.

I have got everything behind me now and I can just concentrate on Blackburn and no more distractions

Benni McCarthy
"You, as a player, feel flattered and feel it's a step up for you.

"It creates a bit of tension between you, your team-mates and your bosses. It's not been the greatest season for me, but at least I have scored some goals.

However, McCarthy has hit only 11 goals for Rovers this campaign, after scoring 24 last season, and he realises that has been detrimental to the team.

"If I had fully concentrated on Blackburn, I think between me and Roque [Santa Cruz], we would have been in the Champions League places definitely," he said.

"But I have got everything behind me now and I can just concentrate on Blackburn and no more distractions."

McCarthy is likely to miss Blackburn's final home match of the season against Derby on Saturday with a hamstring strain.

Blackburn against Derby is live on BBC Radio Lancashire on Saturday 3 May on 95.5, 103.9 and 104.5 FM, 855 and 1557 MW and DAB Digital Radio.

see also
McCarthy signs new Blackburn deal
25 Apr 08 |  Blackburn Rovers
Hughes worried over McCarthy form
19 Dec 07 |  Blackburn Rovers
Hughes: McCarthy is not for sale
29 Dec 07 |  African
Blackburn deny McCarthy 'no-show'
03 Jul 07 |  Blackburn Rovers
McCarthy ponders Blackburn future
12 May 07 |  Blackburn Rovers

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