JIMMY’S SO COOL OVER AUSTIN EXIT
JIMMY Floyd Hasselbaink has insisted he won’t lose any sleep over the departure of star striker Charlie Austin, 26, to Premier League outfit Southampton in a cut-price £4m deal.
Hasselbaink said:“We were planning on Charlie being here but he came to see me to say he had the opportunity to go to Southampton and he wanted to go.
“So what do you do? He had six months (left on his contract) and the club had to make a decision.
“The club is bigger than whoever and it will give an opportunity to someone else. Charlie wanted to go, he’s gone and the rest is history.”
BOBBY Zamora marked his 35th birthday by ending Brighton’s run of seven league games without a win – and Chris Hughton believes the veteran striker is becoming more versatile with age.
Blackburn conceded the only goal of the game in the very early stages, when Zamora, pictured, tapped it home from close range.
From that point onwards the game was an even contest, as both sides struggled with the freezing conditions, but Hughton was delighted with the hard-fought victory.
Hughton said: “When Bobby’s like that and he’s fully fit, he’s a handful. He’s always very clever, he’s adjusted his game as he’s got older.
“You need someone like him who can hold the ball up like he does, and he has a knack of being in the right place at the right time.
“I only found out afterwards that it was his birthday. I thought he capped off a good day for him but, most importantly, a good day for the team.
“It’s a big win for us out there, and we needed it. On the back of probably our most disappointing result on Tuesday (a 2-0 defeat at Rotherham), I couldn’t fault the players.
“When you score early there is always that feeling you’re hanging on a bit.We were reasonably confident we could maybe get a second on the break, but it was a real tough day for us.”
In snowy conditions Brighton took an early lead through Zamora’s simple tap-in after Jamie Murphy’s effort came back off the post.
Rovers responded brightly however with Jordan Rhodes heading wide, and then firing into the side-netting following a clever backheel from Chris Brown.
The game remained a close affair, and Tomer Hemed almost got through for the Seagulls to double their advantage, but was denied by a magnificent Matt Kilgallon tackle.
Zamora had a great opportunity to grab a second late on in a first half low on chances, but the striker was denied by a great stop by Jason Steele.
The experienced frontman continued to be the biggest danger after the break, and narrowly missed the target with a deft lob over Steele after outmuscling Kilgallon.
Rovers came inches from equalising not long after however, when Ben Marshall’s curled free-kick hit the post before rebounding back off David Stockdale and bouncing on the line before being cleared by Lewis Dunk.
The game then began to open up and the Seagulls hit back at the other end when Anthony Knockaert smashed against the post.
Paul Lambert’s men continued to press however, as Craig Conway smashed an effort straight at the keeper before Tommy Spurr fired just wide from long-range.
However, Brighton managed to see off the Blackburn wave of pressure to clinch victory.
A disappointed Lambert said: “The goal was the first attack. I thought we started the game not too bad but then they rocked us.
“For 15 to 20 minutes after that we played too slow, too lethargic, passing backwards. I don’t want to see that kind of football.
“It’s strange for us because we spoke all week about playing it early and getting it up front.
“When a goal goes in against us it rocks us a bit, but that shouldn’t be the case because we still have so much time to retrieve it.
“It was a game of two halves. The second half was more like it but the first half we never got going after that goal.
“We’re still creating chances, we just need that goal to go in.”