BLACKBURN:Blackburn manager Mark Hughes believes that Benni McCarthy is struggling with a lack of confidence but has backed him to re-discover his form in the same way Roque Santa Cruz has.
Hughes hinted that Matt Derbyshire's higher work-rate was the reason he preferred the youngster to the South African star for the 3-2 League Cup quarter-final defeat to Arsenal on Tuesday evening.
Since signing Santa Cruz in the summer, Hughes has left McCarthy, who has not scored since the end of October, out of his starting line-up on several occasions.
The 30-year-old, who has scored eight goals this season, was left out of the starting line-up for the first time since October 7 at Ewood Park.
Paraguayan Santa Cruz had his own lean spell but, after a double on Tuesday, has now scored five goals in two matches.
"Benni has had a period where he hasn't scored goals and obviously there's a confidence thing there as well," said Hughes, whose side have now won just once in eight matches.
"Roque has come through it and I'm sure that Benni will as well because he's a quality player. I have to go with the players that are showing confidence in their play and have ability to affect games and at the moment Benni is finding it a little bit difficult in that respect.
"There are other players in the team who are struggling with form as well, which is a concern."
Asked about bringing Derbyshire in, Hughes added: "I just wanted some more energy and wanted to their back four under pressure and not let them get rhythm into their play."