Hughes backs Tugay to win new contract

November 3, 2006

Blackburn manager Mark Hughes is set to reward Tugay with a new deal after his wonder strike against Basle.

The 36-year-old former Turkey playmaker rattled in a thunderbolt from distance which propelled the club towards the knockout stages of the UEFA Cup.

Hughes said: 'If he keeps scoring goals like that he will earn another contract without a doubt.

'He is playing exceptionally well and I am extremely pleased with the level of performances he is putting in.

'My only concern is that I have not been able to give him as much rest as I feel he needs.

'But he would probably say he feels great anyway. That's the type of guy he is.'

Hughes believes Tugay has gained immense respect at the club - and beyond.

'He is an inspiration to young players not just with his personality but the way he approaches training, ' said the Blackburn boss.

'Technically he is one of the best players in the Premiership.'

Hughes will make at least one change to the team that defeated Basle against Aston Villa on Sunday as Robbie Savage has suffered a recurrence of a thigh problem.

The Welsh midfielder maintains he could be sidelined for up to a month.

'It is the same problem that forced me off against Bolton,' he told the club's radio station.

'I felt great in training the last few days but there's nothing like a game.

'As soon as I planted my foot I just felt it go again.

'It was a sharp pain, like a knife going in my thigh.

'I suppose in the past I've been lucky with injuries but maybe it is my turn.'

Hughes, however, is optimistic Savage will be back sooner rather than later.

He said: 'We are hopeful Robbie will be back maybe in the next couple of weeks.

'He is a little bit down at the moment but will pick himself up in the next few days and get his treatment.'

Blackburn have lost successive league games to Bolton and West Ham. Hughes added: 'It is an opportunity to get our Premiership form back on track and that is what we are aiming to do.'