Friedel denies Ince rift
Former Rovers keeper reveals reasons behind departure
By Chris Burton. Last Updated: July 31, 2008 2:41pm
Friedel: Off to Villa
Brad Friedel insists that Paul Ince played no part in his decision to leave Blackburn.
There had been suggestions that the American keeper was disappointed to see Mark Hughes leave the club and was unwilling to play under his former Liverpool team-mate.
A £2.5million move to Aston Villa followed, ending his eight-year stay at Ewood Park.
However, Friedel has been quick to stress that the managerial change at Rovers had no bearing on his choice to leave the club, and revealed that the offer from Villa was just too good to turn down.
"It was just a feeling I got," the 37-year-old told the Lancashire Telegraph.
"It had absolutely nothing to do with Paul Ince coming in as the manager - I want to make that crystal clear.
"There was no animosity or frustration on my part when the new manager got appointed, and I've not fallen out with Paul, (chairman) John Williams, or anyone else at the club for that matter.
"The bottom line is this just felt right, and I would have made the same decision whether Mark Hughes was still the manager at Rovers or not.
"This challenge just really excited me. I'd been in one place for the last eight years, and I honestly thought I'd be spending the rest of my career at Blackburn.
"But then this opportunity cropped up, and I just felt it was something that I had to do."
With Villa believed to have doubled Friedel's wages in order to take him to the Midlands, as well as offering him a two-year deal, the veteran shot-stopper believes that any player would have made the same decision.
"All I can say is the whole package revoloing around the club was too good to turn down," he added.
"If any professional footballer was in my shoes, and presented with exactly the same options, then they would have done exactly the same thing as me."