Belfast Telegraph

Kean delighted to welcome Yak back

Blackburn manager Steve Kean believes Aiyegbeni Yakubu's return will be the catalyst to lift Blackburn out of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone.

The striker has missed Rovers' last three league games through suspension after he was shown a red card in the 3-1 win over Fulham, but is available for Saturday's clash against fellow strugglers QPR.

"To get the Yak back, he's our leading scorer and we've missed him," Kean said. "I think he's quoted as saying that three games felt like three months so it's brilliant for us to have him back. He's our leading scorer and if we give him the service he's going to be a real important player for us in the remaining games."

He added: "The good thing is that during that period he's trained really, really well. He's put a lot of hard work in.

"It's not only his enthusiasm, he's a clever player. I think the centre-halves he plays against he gives them a hard time because he's always difficult to pick up.

"We've got a way of playing him now because we know what his favourite runs are and we know what service he likes. He's been getting really good service, hence the reason he's been scoring so many goals and the type of goals that he has.

"He's an infectious character round the place and he's always got a smile on his face and it's great that he's back and available for selection again."

Kean praised the efforts of Anthony Modeste and David Goodwillie, who stepped up alongside Junior Hoilett during the Yakubu's absence.

"I thought [Modeste] did well, especially against Newcastle," Kean said. "I thought he was unfortunate not to score. It was difficult for him against Arsenal with us losing Gael Givet [to a red card] and going down to 10 men, the service was very limited so that was a tough game for him but I feel as though he's done well.

"Also we've had Goodwillie who's been ill and missed the game against Newcastle at a time he's got three goals in four games, so having the Yak, also Anthony playing well, David Goodwillie scoring goals, there's different permutations and selections we can put up there."

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