Belfast Telegraph

Monday 1 September 2014

Kean must quell Rovers' disquiet

Steve Kean

Steve Kean will begin the task of trying to persuade Blackburn's players that Ewood Park is once again a stable place to play football.

New owners Venky's confirmed that Kean will remain as manager until the end of the season after placing the former first-team coach in temporary charge following Sam Allardyce's sacking last week. The removal of the former Bolton and Newcastle boss less than a month after the Indian poultry giants' takeover of Rovers drew criticism from across the game.

Among the dissenters were a number of Blackburn's players including captain Christopher Samba, who was so incensed by the treatment of Allardyce that he publicly declared his intention to leave and told The Sun: "If this is the way the club's going to be run from now on, I don't want to be part of it and I want to leave."

He added: "As captain it's very difficult to say this but I've thought long and hard about it. Nobody in football understands the decision to sack Sam."

Vice-captain and fellow defender Ryan Nelsen also criticised Venky's for their lack of communication, saying: "We as players know nothing, the staff know nothing. Nobody knows anything about what's going on."

Kean, too, appeared to be in the dark following his first match in charge, a 1-1 draw with the Barclays Premier League's bottom side West Ham last Saturday, but this week he reportedly flew out to India to meet the owners, who have put their faith in the 43-year-old despite his lack of managerial experience.

Kean was previously assistant to Chris Coleman at Fulham, Real Sociedad and Coventry before leaving to take the Blackburn job last summer.

With the transfer window opening next month, new targets will also be high on the Glaswegian's agenda, particularly given the current injury problems at Ewood Park, with young centre-half Phil Jones joining midfielders Vince Grella, Steven Nzonzi and Keith Andrews on the sidelines.

The 18-year-old, who is considered one of England's brightest prospects, picked up a knee injury against West Ham and, following surgery on Monday, is expected to be out for between three and four months.

Striker Jason Roberts damaged a hamstring in the same match, putting him out for around seven weeks, and that area will be another priority for Kean when looking for reinforcements. Venky's have confirmed he will be given some money to spend, with £5million the figure that has been widely circulated.

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