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With Brentford off the back off a loss in Yorkshire and Blackburn off the back of a loss to a Yorkshire team, BillytheBee chats to Mike Delap (@MikeyDelap) – editor of The Wild Blackburn Rover blog ’bout Lovejoy (not Tim), Jordan Rhodes and Burnley born and bred ‘punk’ band Chumbawumba not only in print .. but also on this week’s Beesotted Pride of West London Podcast.

Blackburn have had not a bad start to the season. Wins against decent sides like Forest and Bournemouth has seen you mixing it up at the top. Are you pleased with the way things have shaped up so far?

Yes we’ve been solid if a little uninspiring at times. We’ve certainly been good enough to merit our position in the table so we have to be pleased with sitting on the shoulder of the play off spots. I would hope there is more to come though, perhaps with some more consistent performances.

You have two strikers – Getstede on 11 and Rhodes on 7 goals – who will ensure you always have a chance of picking up points in a game as they know where the back of the net is…

Our main heralded outlet is our front two – in Jordan Rhodes and Rudy Gestede. I can’t imagine there are many better strike pairings in the division. If there are then I apologise ….. but there probably aren’t. They’re a nice blend of cultured and precise endeavor in Jordan and more direct and robust power in the big man.

Jordan for what it’s worth has been a little off colour this season compared to the lofty standards he’s set himself. But you would never bet against him hitting a run of goals in the Championship. He’s a class act and an honest lad who will always do some good by us.

Rudy meanwhile has been pretty uniformly excellent since his permanent signing (for peanuts) from Cardiff in January. There are no secrets to his more obvious talents – I think he was signed to aid Jordan’s goal plunder. But he’s helped himself. He’s an absolute crowd favourite is the Benin Bomber.

Saying that, Rhodes, Getstede and Marshall are scoring pretty much all your goals – 23 between them. Our goals are spread a bit more amongst Gray, Dallas, Judge, Pritchard and Douglas. Is it fair to say, if we keep those boys quiet and you’ll struggle to score?

Yes, statistically speaking you’re not wrong there. We’ve not exactly shared the goals round to date and if those 3 somehow got struck down by lightning for the weekend I wouldn’t exactly lump on us to win… put it that way.

Happy with your manager now Bowyer? You weren’t particularly happy with the previous ones were you?

We weren’t happy with the other ones because they were a foul tasting cocktail of useless.

Berg was sort of OK but never got going, Appleton was just a barrage of long ball and meh, whilst the less said about Mr Billy Bullsh!t the better (that would be Steve Keane then – ed) – for both our sanity and likely any legal aid we may need to take out.

As for Bowyer, yes – he’s done a bang up job to come out fighting from a very difficult, unforgiving corner.

The jury is still very much out on whether he has the ability and the tactical nous to take us up. But you’d have to be very hard nosed to argue that he’s not done very well to take us from dour rubbish to competently efficient.

How about the owner?

Getting there.

They’ve a long way back from the utter shambles they created by their own hands and naivety between 2010 – 2013 and we may never recover from the financial blackhole they’ve created through daft expenditure and being bled dry by previous hangers-on. But they have at least shown they’re willing to dig in and back us financially and leave the running of the club by and large in the hands of people who (at the very least) know what they are doing.

Which is something I guess.

Your hey-day when you won the Premier League must have been fun. Kenny Dalglish. Alan Shearer. Do you think those days will return?

Highly unlikely. Despite my formative football years being the early 90’s I certainly understood how the natural pecking order works and was aware us eating from the very, very top table had an expiry date to it.

We’re certainly capable of returning to the Premier League and being a functional unit kicking around the lower/mid tables but barring a borderline miraculous set of events we won’t win the Premier League again. Not in the rest of my lifetime I wouldn’t have thought.

But I saw it once, so screw you all.

What’s your most memorable game?

I’ve been lucky to experience a few and I’ll plump for a game besides the wholly obvious answers such as the win over Leicester in the Play-Off Final, Anfield ’95 and our League Cup win against Spurs in 2002 and say our 4-3 win over Manchester United during the Mark Hughes days.

It was the David Bentley hat-trick game and the atmosphere at Ewood was absolutely buzzing. We raced into a 4-1 lead but as is often the case with “do it the hard way” Rovers, we were pegged back to 4-3 near the end. The last five minutes felt like a long weekend. But I’ve never felt so much relief at a final whistle being blown and I don’t think I slept much that night either. Stuff that dreams were made of.

Jordan Rhodes will get a good reception on Saturday. Fair play to Andy Scott, he plucked him out of Ipswich academy on loan to give him his first taste of league football when we were languishing in Division 2. Young and raw, his first match up at Macclesfield was one to forget. However, those of us who travelled to Shrewsbury the following week will never forget the hat trick he scored in less than half an hour.

He never looked back after that. He was brilliant. So brilliant, every Bees you spoke to said “he’s too good for us. ipswich will never let him go”. He broke his leg before the end of the season but still won a championship medal. We tried to buy him in the close season but incoming manager Roy Keane decided he wanted to “have a good look at him” before making a decision. He even scored against us in a pre-season friendly. Keane then decided he wasn’t good enough and flogged him to Huddersfield who had deeper pockets than us.

If Rhodes was back in our team now, and this is no disrespect to Andre Gray who has been a revelation, I would hand on heart say we would, the way we play, be firmly lodged in the top 3 with Rhodes and Gray both playing a starring role somehow up-front.

How do you think your team would fair without Rhodes this season?

I haven’t seen tons of Gray to be honest so I can’t really comment too fairly but there has been an argument this season that we’d actually perform better without Rhodes – barring scoring he doesn’t actually have much of an all round game. This doesn’t bother me personally but when the goals dry up (to a certain extent like they have this term) then he doesn’t contribute enough to the side to warrant a place.

I’m not totally onboard with that, but I’d probably sit on the fence here and say the side that we’d field without Rhodes would be roughly the same place as the one we’d field without. But I’d rather play the chap. He’s normally good for a goal or two which most teams would struggle to replace.

With Burnley being your most hated rivals, is there any reason why Blackburn fans are voting to choose a new shirt for them?

Yes, because they’re kicking off about one of the choices looking like Preston’s shirt and generally not being the best, so we’ve filled our boots and done what the kids call ” a bit of trolling”. It’s fun, join in – vote of option 2 and do your bit for the good of humanity.

And here’s our made in Blackburn section

Ian McShane (Lovejoy) or Judy Haworth (Coronation St)?

Ian McShane. Anyone who has been in Dallas wins this automatically (and nowt to do with him being from Blackburn and she from Burnley? – Ed)

Chumbawumba or …anyone but Chumbawumba …

Sure why not, Chumbawumba. Anyone who has the balls to call themselves that deserves a shout. (Even if they’re from Burnley – interesting – Ed)

The right honourable Jack Straw or Jack Walker?

Jack Walker. Besides the obvious, I can’t get onboard with anyone who looks like the Demon Headmaster (What … not even your local Blackburn MP? – Ed). He’s still better than Alistair Campbell mind.

Noel Brotherston or Alan Shearer?

Alan Shearer. No question (sorry Noel).

Head to head, Blackburn are shading it winning 14 games to the Bees’ 10 with 3 games drawn. Do you think you can extend your lead and give us a score prediction.

Tough one to call this as I think you’ve done really well this season and your home form looks strong so I’ll just locate my fence… *there it is*… 1-1. Gray and Gestede with the goals.

Here’s to a good game folks, see you in the pub.

Thanks to Mike Delap (@MikeyDelap) of The Wild Blackburn Rover blog for taking time out to let u know wah blow down Blackburn Way. Blackburn fans, if you want to know exactly where to go in Brentford, see below ….

Pubs in Brentford

For Blackburn fans coming down, you are probably aware there plenty of pub options pre-match. There four pubs around the ground. The Griffin is closest to the away end and is very popular with away fans – but also very busy. The New Inn is on the other side is also popular with away fans. The Princess Royal and The Royal Oak (sometimes home fans only and the only pub with bouncers on the door) are the other two options.

Other pubs slightly further afield for the more creative amongst you include (and this is by no means a definitive list) the … The Globe (Windmill Rd) & The Lord Nelson (Enfield Rd) – both incredibly friendly and cozy away-frienly pubs .. frequented by away fans in the know – and The Plough (Northfields Ave) in Northfields is a decent stop-off if you are coming by tube to Northfields before making your way down to the ground (normally stopping off at The Globe and Lord Nelson en route).

There is also a pub right by Brentford station always referred to as … The Pub by Brentford Station. And there’s a brand spanking new Fullers pub right by Kew Bridge overlooking he river called Over the Ait which most Brentford fans still have still check out.

For ale head to the Magpie and Stump on Brentford High Street. The Royal Horseguardsman can probably hold 15 of you at a push. The Brewery Tap is a cosy boozer by the river. There are loads more too.

The Bree Louise – 1 minutes walk from Euston station is a decent stop off en route back.

A quick google search and you’ll find them all. There are many many more too if you have an early start (or all evening)