Santa Cruz: Blackburn move saved career

Roque Santa Cruz has credited Blackburn Rovers boss Mark Hughes for turning his career around.

The big forward, signed from Bayern Munich for £3.8million last summer, is delighted he swapped life on the bench at the German giants for a fresh challenge.

"I had a chance to go to other places but I had a good feeling talking with the manager and his ideas for the team," said Santa Cruz. "It was a very important choice for me and I am happy to come here.

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"At Bayern the manager told me he wanted me to stay but for the bench, and because of my injuries I knew I had to keep playing so I could get back to my best.

"I had been injured so much it was important for me to get back to playing and with a manager and a team that give me the confidence to keep playing.

"When I talked to the manager here, he said I'd have a chance and after a few months in England this feels like home.

"This is the best thing that could have happened to me as I stayed too long at Bayern."

Santa Cruz bagged his latest goal in Sunday's 2-1 win at Derby to halt a miserable run of just one win in 10 games for Blackburn.

"I think I can play much better than I have been playing," added the South American who lives in Manchester near his pal and ex-Bayern team-mate Owen Hargreaves.

"I am confident now and hope this will help the team. We have lost too many points but we got the three points at Derby and now I hope this is the start of a winning run."

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