Corry Evans targets promotion for Blackburn

h Northern Ireland's Corry Evans (left) during the friendly against Chile
h Northern Ireland's Corry Evans (left) during the friendly against Chile

Corry Evans wants Blackburn to be sitting top of the Sky Bet Championship on Friday night and hopes that is a position they never deviate far from throughout the season.

Rovers entertain Cardiff, who were one of the three sides relegated from the Barclays Premier League last year, at Ewood Park to kick off the new domestic campaign.

The top tier is a division Blackburn have not been in since 2012 but, after ending the previous season on a 12-game unbeaten run and experiencing a much-welcome summer of stability, the belief is that they can follow their east Lancashire neighbours Burnley in winning promotion.

“We’re wanting to get promotion, be it automatic or through the play-offs; that’s our goal,” Evans told

“It’s really everyone’s goal in this division because anyone can beat anyone. But I think the experience we had as a team last year gelled us well. We know our style and we know the way we want to play. Hopefully we can put that into good practice this year.”

Although Rovers finished the 2013-14 season with a flourish, they ultimately left themselves too much to do when it came to creeping into the play-offs.

Evans, therefore, knows that it is crucial Gary Bowyer’s side begin on a brighter note this time around.

“It sets out a marker to the rest of the league as well,” he said.

“We’re the first team to open the season on a Friday and, who knows, we could be sitting top of the table come Friday night. It’s important we start with a bang and put a marker down for where we go from there.”

Blackburn discovered just how difficult the Championship can be when they first dropped out of the top flight, and they would have experienced back-to-back relegations were it not for Jordan Rhodes’ goals.

However, several bookmakers have Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Cardiff as favourites to win the Championship title, just as they did two seasons ago.

“I think it’s a good bet,” Solskjaer, speaking at his Thursday morning press conference, said of the Bluebirds being tagged favourites.

“I hope so, but then again this league is tough. There’s at least five or six that can look at themselves as candidates to go up.

“Blackburn, Fulham and Norwich - there’s at least five or six that can go up and we play a few in the first eight games so let’s see.”

The Norwegian has presided over a period of change ahead of his first full campaign in the hot seat, with Federico Macheda and Adam Le Fondre adding to a bevy of attacking options.

The likes of Fraizer Campbell, Jordan Mutch and Steven Caulker have departed, though, with Chile’s World Cup star Gary Medel expected to follow suit.

And Solskjaer is adamant Cardiff made the right decision to cash in on those players.

“When they don’t want to sign a new contract I don’t want them here anyway,” he said.

“I tried to convince Mutch to sign a new contract but he wanted to play in the Premier League so we’ll see him in 12 months.”