Vogel deal 'too good to miss', says Hughes

Last updated at 15:47 20 March 2008

Blackburn manager Mark Hughes believes he has landed a late season bonus with

the signing of former Switzerland captain Johann Vogel.

The 31-year-old former PSV Eindhoven and AC Milan midfielder, a free agent

after being released by Real Betis last December, agreed terms with Rovers

earlier this week after a successful trial period.

Vogel lacks match fitness and is yet to receive international clearance but

Hughes feels he could make an impact before the end of the campaign.

Hughes said: "It was an opportunity too good to miss.

"We've done the deal early. Initially, it was more squad planning for next

season but he has come in and, even though he's missed six or seven months, has

looked sharp and could be a good option for us between now and the end of the

season. That's why we have done the deal.

"I have known about his abilities for some time. I have seen him play and he

has always struck me as a very accomplished football player.

"He has got great experience from all over Europe and has a winning mentality

- that has been evident in the couple of weeks he has been with us."

Vogel joins a team still harbouring hopes of qualifying for Europe, although

their most realistic chance looks to be in securing the Intertoto Cup spot for

finishing sixth in the Barclays Premier League.

Hughes believes the Swiss - who is currently out of favour with his national

side - can add considerable strength and dynamism to the Rovers midfield.

The former Wales boss added: "He kind of just sits in front of the back four

and just breaks things up and sets attacks on the move.

"He's got a good variation to his passing and got good energy as well. With

the experience and knowledge he has he's going to be a real asset for us.

"He hasn't had games but once the clearance comes through and there's an

opportunity to get him involved, we will arrange games and make sure he is up to


Vogel will not be involved as Rovers take on Wigan at Ewood Park on Saturday.

Defender or midfielder Brett Emerton has also been ruled out after leaving the

field with a recurrence of groin trouble in last week's defeat at West Ham.

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