Blackburn boss: Derbyshire, Santa Cruz won it - not me

Blackburn substitutes Roque Santa Cruz and Matt Derbyshire inspired Rovers to an opening day win at Middlesbrough with two second half strikes.

Stewart Downing gave Boro the lead in the first period but the visitors rallied to claim an opening day victory with Santa Cruz scoring on his debut.

Rovers boss Mark Hughes didn't want to take any of the credit for his apparent inspired substitutions.

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"In fairness to Roque and Matty they came on and had an immediate impact," said Hughes.

"You make substitutions and you hope that is going to happen, but I'm not going to take any credit for it. The guys came on and they were excellent, two great goals."

Hughes was full of praise for his latest signing Santa Cruz.

"I think you saw in the short time that he was on the field that he's got great qualities," added Hughes. "He's a big guy, he's a threat in the air and he'll get on the end of things because we produce quality balls in the box.

"He's also quick for a big guy, there was one instance where he turned away from his marker and the whole grandstand gasped because he blew the guy away.

"He's got some great qualities and he's going to have a great season for us."

Whilst Santa Cruz's goal was excellent, Matt Derbyshire struck a stunning winner.

"When he comes on he always makes an impact," said Hughes. "He's just a young man who loves playing football, he loves getting out there with a Blackburn shirt on and showing everybody what he can do.

"He's a great outlet and a great impact player for me because whenever I stick him on the pitch he seems to make things happen. He either scores or creates mayhem in the opposition box and we benefit from it.

"He's a great player for us."

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