Belfast Telegraph

Hodgson respects dignified Kean

West Brom boss Roy Hodgson has praised the "mental strength" of his Blackburn counterpart Steve Kean in coping with constant calls for him to quit by his own fans ahead of Saturday's Ewood Park clash.

Hodgson was himself sacked as Rovers manager more than a decade ago despite leading them into Europe the previous season. Now Kean is having to put up with such demands from Rovers supporters on a regular basis but Hodgson believes he is dealing with it admirably.

"How you deal with such things depends on the individual but it requires enormous mental strength," said Hodgson.

"It requires determination and focus and not allowing yourself to be too swayed by things you are hearing from the outside.

"You've got to hope the players you are working with are still listening and trying to do the type of things you feel are necessary for the team to do well. You've got to hope they are not being swayed by a lot of the outside noises and judgements they will be hearing.

"I think Steve Kean has shown a lot of dignity in that situation. He's got on with his job and actually got some quite good results along the way as well."

Hodgson also believes the situation at Rovers could develop a siege mentality which will make life tougher for Albion and other opponents.

He said: "It is possible. I'm spending a lot of time talking about Blackburn. I know the players they use and how they play and style of play.

"It is possible it makes our task that little harder. But I just think when you are in the Premier League you will be well advised to prepare for a difficult game against every team you play against, every week, irrespective of their current situation.

"If for some reason their game is being damaged by outside influences, we will be very grateful but we don't count on it."

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