Belfast Telegraph

Kean backs Robinson for England

Blackburn boss Steve Kean believes Paul Robinson deserves to be back in the England reckoning after he saved his side a point in the 1-1 draw against Aston Villa.

Robinson denied Charles N'Zogbia, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Barry Bannan with superb stops before David Dunn's late header cancelled out N'Zogbia's early opener. Robinson has not played for England since pulling out of the squad for a friendly against Hungary in 2010 and announcing his retirement from the squad.

But he has intimated recently he may reconsider, and Kean said: "I certainly think he is good enough to get back in there and with the change at the top who's to say he can't do it? If it wasn't for his performance in the first half today the game could have been beyond us."

He added: "He made crucial saves in the first half and played his part in getting us back to our usual standards."

Kean was at a loss to explain his side's dismal first-half display as Villa largely dominated, but a strong finish helped nudge Rovers a little further in the right direction.

Kean added: "The first half was probably as poor as we've been for a number of months. But we had a few choice words at half-time and in the second half we were much better.

"We got closer to Villa's midfield because we were miles off it in the first half. I'm just disappointed we didn't get our goal earlier because if we did we might have gone on to win it."

Villa boss Alex McLeish bemoaned his side's lack of "ruthlessness" in front of goal and admitted Dunn's late equaliser made it feel like two points lost.

McLeish said: "We lacked the ruthlessness that has maybe blighted us a bit this season. You could certainly talk about the amount of chances we've passed up in games.

"We've got to move on and try to build on our performance in the first half. Paul Robinson made some fantastic saves, but in the second half Blackburn bullied us a bit."


From Belfast Telegraph