Bentley fears Euro flop

Midfielder admits frustrations at Ewood Park

David Bentley admits he will not be happy at Blackburn if the club fail to qualify for Europe this season.

Rovers, who travel to West Ham on Saturday, currently sit eighth in the Premier League and are battling with the likes of Aston Villa, Portsmouth and Manchester City for a place in next season's Uefa Cup.

With Tottenham winning the Carling Cup and with none of the 'big four' in contention for success in the FA Cup, only a place in the top five of the league will secure qualification for Europe this season and Blackburn boss Mark Hughes has admitted his side could be forced to settle for a place in the Intertoto Cup.

The loser of the race between Liverpool and Everton for the final UEFA Champions League spot would appear to be best placed for an automatic Uefa Cup place leaving Blackburn facing a fight to secure their fourth consecutive season of European football.

Contract negotiations

And England midfielder Bentley, who is due to open new long-term contract negotiations at Ewood Park, has admitted he fears a failure to qualify for Europe.

"I won't be happy playing mid-table football and I think we should be pushing on even further," Bentley told The Sun.

"European football is the only success we're going to have this season and if we don't get that, it's a failure.

"We should be pushing the top teams with the players we've got.

Top player

"It's not acceptable to perform once in five games. You have to perform every week and we have to push ourselves onto the next level.

"If you have international players in your team and every player considers himself a top player in his own mind, they have to prove that on the pitch and you have to play in Europe at the highest level."

And while Bentley insists he is happy at Rovers, he has hinted he may be forced to consider leaving if the club failed to qualify for Europe.

"I love this club and I love everyone here," Bentley added.

"I love coming to work every day but you never know what's round the corner. It would be the hardest decision ever if I had to leave this club."