How a league table works

EXCITING times at Blackburn, where the bid to hold on to ninth spot continues tomorrow at Newcastle. (“I’d love it if we beat someone. Just love it.”)

Blackburn have several games in March against other teams in the same league, and if they win them, they will move up the table. If they lose them, however, they will slide down the table.

Now the whole concept of a league table – where teams are ranked according to the number of matches they win against other teams – might seem a bit complicated to some of you.

Fortunately, Blackburn manager Mark Hughes was on hand to explain how it works at today’s pre-match press conference.

“It seems the top half is beating the bottom half this season, so we hope that continues,” Hughes said.

I’m sure it will, Mark. And I would expect the same to happen next season too, unless the Premier League starts deducting points from teams for buying up all the best players.

Anyway, Hughes dropped a pretty heavy hint that Rovers may be setting their sights even higher than ninth. Perhaps even – wait for it – eighth.

“We just get quietly on with the work we do and don’t create a great deal of attention,” Hughes added.

“There are advantages of just getting on with your work and being slightly under the radar – you can surprise people.”

Of course, the drawback of being slightly under the radar is that the population of your own town might forget you exist, and therefore not turn up to your matches. This, however, is a price you sometimes have to pay for being the ninth-best team in the Premier League.

Anyway, that doesn’t really matter this weekend, as Blackburn are away.

Morten Gamst Pedersen, meanwhile, has revealed the tactics that Blackburn will use as they attempt to send the Newcastle public further along the road to meltdown under King Kev.

“We work hard and we have to just think about what we are going to do,” Pedersen said, thinking about what he is going to do. “We can’t be concerned with what is going on up there.

“We are going up there to do the best for ourselves and we want to get points.”

So here’s the scenario. Blackburn – who are currently ninth – will move up to eighth if they win. If Manchester City also lose at home to Wigan, Rovers will move up to seventh. But if Portsmouth then draw or win at Everton on Sunday, Blackburn will slip back one place.

If, on the other hand, Blackburn lose or draw, they will slip to 10th if West Ham beat Chelsea.

You could cut the tension with a plastic fork.

“We have got games we feel are certainly within our ability to win,” said Hughes.

Which is probably more than you can say for Newcastle at the moment.


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