Town target a move for Matt

BLACKBURN Rovers striker Matt Jansen is among the leading loan targets being hunted by Blues boss Joe Royle, writes Derek Davis.The 26-year-old former Carlisle and Crystal Palace forward was on the bench in Rovers' 3-2 defeat by Chelsea yesterday afternoon and may find himself even further down the pecking order at Ewood Park with the expected arrival of Jon Stead from Huddersfield later today.

BLACKBURN Rovers striker Matt Jansen is among the leading loan targets being hunted by Blues boss Joe Royle, writes Derek Davis.

The 26-year-old former Carlisle and Crystal Palace forward was on the bench in Rovers' 3-2 defeat by Chelsea yesterday afternoon and may find himself even further down the pecking order at Ewood Park with the expected arrival of Jon Stead from Huddersfield later today.

Royle last night refused to rule Jansen out as a potential recruit and admitted he was hoping to complete a loan move – for at least one of the players he has been chasing this week – once the transfer window for Premiership clubs to buy players closes tonight at 5pm.

Royle said: "I will be on the phone again prompting a few people and perhaps something will come of it."


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Jansen enjoyed a three-month loan spell at Coventry City last February when he netted twice in nine games, including a goal in the Sky Blues' 4-2 loss against Ipswich at Highfield Road last April. Coventry recently tried to bring Jansen back for another spell but were thwarted. It is understood Ipswich are in pole position to land him.

The Town manager has a good relationship with Rovers boss Graeme Souness and Blackburn who paid Alan Mahon's wages while he was injured during his loan spell with Town, although Irishman Mahon was subsequently recalled early by Souness.

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Cumbrian-born Jansen was called into Sven-Goran Eriksson's England squad in 2002 after scoring in the Carling Cup final but missed out on a senior debut due to illness. Then a motorcycle accident while on holiday in the summer of 2002 left him with head injuries and he endured a lengthy lay-off. He has never quite recaptured his form.

Royle has made it clear he is looking for an accomplished finisher to complement his strike force which he feels lacks a cutting edge, even though Town have found the net 60 times this season. While Jansen has netted 42 league goals for Blackburn in 138 appearances, three in 17 outings this season, he is known more for hitting spectacular goals and creating chances for others – not necessarily a fox- in-the-box type player.

Royle left top-scorer Pablo Counago on the bench during the 1-1 draw at Coventry on Saturday, with midfielder Ian Westlake grabbing Town's equaliser after Stephen Warnock had netted moments before half-time for the Sky Blues. Town's Shefki Kuqi missed a sitter and other chances went begging as Ipswich slipped further behind the top two, Norwich City and West Bromwich Albion.

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