Nolan focused on Rovers

Beating the drop more important than European run

Nolan: Hard work needed

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Kevin Nolan is putting his European dreams to one side in order to concentrate on league survival.

The Trotters made it through to the last 16 of the Uefa Cup on Thursday night with a 1-0 aggregate win over Atletico Madrid, but before thoughts can turn to another glamour tie with Sporting Lisbon in two weeks' time there is the small matter of ensuring that they stay in the English top-flight.

After picking up just two victories in their last eight Premier League games they currently sit three points outside the drop zone, a situation which is ensuring that relegation remains a very realistic threat at the Reebok.

With a local derby against Blackburn next up on Sunday, club captain Nolan has reiterated the importance of the squad remaining focused over the next few weeks and not letting themselves get too carried away by their European exploits.


"We will look forward to playing Sporting Lisbon in the next round, but that is in the future," Nolan told the club's official website.

"We've got some vital Premier League games coming up and none more so than Blackburn on Sunday. That game is so important to us and we hope to get a positive result there.

"Obviously we are all delighted about the result (against Atletico). The fact that we are through to the last 16 for the first time in our history is magnificent, but we will not get carried away with the result."


Spanish midfielder Ivan Campo was also keen to stress that domestic issues are of greater concern to the Trotters at present, despite thoroughly enjoying a memorable night back in his homeland.

"For us we are much more interested in the league, where we are not doing so well," he admitted.

"In truth, we did not expect to get this far in the Uefa Cup and to get through to the following round, as such it is a reward for everyone and, above all, for our fans.

"We went out to defend the result which we obtained in the first leg and we have done very well. It is a shame for Atletico, but we made the most of the advantage we obtained at home," he added.