Midfield riches for boss

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IAN Holloway is in the middle of a quandary, quite literally – who to pick in his midfield three is likely to keep the manager awake tonight.

David Vaughan, Keith Southern and Andy Reid performed the task against Chelsea.

Tomorrow, though, Holloway has options galore.

Charlie Adam is back from suspension, while Elliot Grandin and Gary Taylor-Fletcher are ready to start after recovering from hamstring injuries, while Ludovic Sylvestre is also champing at the bit.

But Adam’s return is a given, and the manager won’t drop Vaughan – which means there is only one place going begging and at least four players hoping to fill it.

Given that it’s a local derby likely to be played at breakneck speed, and therefore not a contest for the faint-hearted, Southern – one of the best players on the park against Chelsea – might fancy his chances.

But as assistant boss Steve Thompson says, there are plenty of options to consider.

“Keith Southern’s performance last week was excellent,” said Thompson.

“But we’ve got different players who bring different things to the table.

“Keith gets his foot in and keeps the ball moving. Charlie brings his passing, everybody knows what Ludovic and Vaughan can do.

“Then we’ve got Taylor-Fletcher and Grandin, who both played for the reserves and have got a good fortnight of training under their belts.

“It is important we get the right balance in midfield, people who can get goals, who can pass, and people who can tackle as well.

“We’ve got a nice dilemma in there. We will look at what system we think Blackburn will play and make a decision.”

There are options elsewhere too.

Craig Cathcart is expected to return to the back four, after illness kept him out against Chelsea.

Jason Puncheon is a certain starter up front, with James Beattie, Luke Varney, Brett Ormerod, Sergei Kornilenko, Matt Phillips vying for the other two places.