Belfast Telegraph

Kean looks to fearless youngsters

Blackburn boss Steve Kean believes it is the bravery of his young players which will play a big part in helping the club stave off relegation despite stretching their recent run to eight games without a win with Saturday's 1-1 home draw against Birmingham

Only results elsewhere kept Rovers out of the bottom three, but Kean maintains the future is bright with three of his young players - goalscorer Junior Hoilett, midfielder Phil Jones and defender Martin Olsson once again proving their Barclays Premier League class.

Kean said: "We've got some great young guys who don't really know what fear is and they just want to get on the ball and express themselves. Junior has certainly shown all the makings of a top-class player."

Hoilett was the Rovers star in a gutsy first half and drew the home side level in first half injury time when he pounced on an awful error by Liam Ridgewell to burst clear and round Blues keeper Ben Foster.

Rovers' equaliser was particularly frustrating for Blues boss Alex McLeish - whose side remain locked together with Blackburn on 35 points - after they had worked hard to nudge in front through Lee Bowyer.

For both sides the point came at a price with a series of new injury concerns. Kean will have one eye on the treatment room this week after Hoilett, Santa Cruz and Ryan Nelsen all went off injured.

Kean added: "(Junior) could feel his hamstring tightening and you've got to look at the games coming up. If it's tight that's the body saying it's going to go, so you have to pull him off as a precaution.

"Ryan has had fluid drained off his knee and he could feel it playing up. We need to get it iced and drained and let it settle down and hopefully he will be available for the Everton game."

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