Monday 23 April 2018

Henning Berg set to take over at Blackburn – reports

Dominic Farrell

HENNING Berg is on the verge of being named Blackburn's new manager, according to reports.

Norwegian broadcaster TV 2 Sporten, where Berg has worked as a pundit since his dismissal as manager of Lillestrom in October last year, claim the former Rovers and Manchester United defender was offered the Ewood Park post following a successful interview on Monday.

Kjetil Rekdal told TV 2 Sporten that he expects his former Norway team-mate to be a success and welcomed the news as a boost to Norwegian football, with Stale Solbakken already employed in the npower Championship as Wolves boss.

"This is fantastic news for Norwegian football that we get another coach in England," said Rekdal, currently the coach of Aalesunds FK in his homeland. "It is a sign that we are doing something right."

"I think it is a great advantage that he has been at the club before and knows the environment there. He knows what is expected.

"I know Henning is a wise coach and wise strategist, and when you have been there before it is always easier to gain support for your ideas."

It would seem Berg, 43, has softened his opinion of Blackburn's Indian owners Venky's, having offered a scathing assessment of their work in the wake of last season's relegation from the Premier League.

In June, he was quoted in the Daily Mirror as saying: "It's very difficult for me to see how Blackburn can expect to go up next season with how they went down last season.

"To stand any chance of promotion the owners have to change everything about the way they have run the club so far.

"There is no doubt none of the decisions they have taken have worked, none of them. Can they run the club from India? I would say they can't and either need to come here all the time or bring someone in to run the club."

Shebby Singh has since been appointed by Venky's as global advisor and, as the man overseeing the month-long search for Steve Kean's successor, his preference for a young, up-and-coming manager appears to have held sway.

Wayne Wild, co-chairman of the Rovers Trust - a group committed to fan ownership of Blackburn - believes the club's pursuit of a former player may be misguided.

Approaches for Tim Sherwood and Billy McKinlay, coaches at Tottenham and Fulham respectively, were rejected earlier this month.

"I think the protracted process underlines that there are still problems at board level and senior management level at Blackburn Rovers," Wild told Press Association Sport.

"It seems to be more important to give the fans an ex-player's name rather than getting somebody who would be more expensive and more experienced.

"This highlights the importance of having a supporters trust, so that supporters get to voice their input at the highest level."

He added: "Henning Berg was obviously a very well-liked former member of the playing squad on two occasions, so will certainly be welcomed by the fans."

Berg made 297 appearances across two playing spells with Blackburn and was part of the side that won the Premier League title in 1994/95.

He moved to Manchester United for £5million in 1997 but returned to east Lancashire three years later.

Under boss Graham Souness, Berg helped Blackburn to promotion back to the top flight and captained them to their 2002 League Cup triumph over Tottenham in Cardiff.

He began his managerial career with Lyn Oslo in 2005, guiding them to a third-place finish in the Norwegian top flight during his first season in charge.

But Berg was unable to repeat that success and left to take charge of Lillestrom in August 2010, where an unsuccessful reign ended with a run of one point from eight matches.

A host of high-profile candidates have been linked to the Ewood Park post since Kean resigned to end a deeply unpopular spell at the helm. Yesterday, former Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp distanced himself from the job.

Blackburn lie fifth in the npower Championship following six matches under the guidance of caretaker boss Eric Black.

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