Belfast Telegraph

Kean: Nerves can be good for us

Blackburn boss Steve Kean feels any nerves his players take into Monday's home game against Wigan could give them an extra edge.

In what has been a hugely disappointing season, it is now do-or-die time for Rovers, who are 19th in the Barclays Premier League with two games to play, and Kean knows the enormity of the crunch fixture is likely to play on one or two minds.

But asked about nerves in the camp, Kean said: "I feel as if it can give a positive edge. Sometimes you can look at the lads and think they are a little bit nervous and there is a negative energy, but they have looked bright and sharp on the training ground."

Blackburn have lost six of their last seven games - their latest outing being a 2-0 defeat at Tottenham a week ago, in which they failed to muster a single shot on goal - but Kean insists his belief his team can beat the drop has not wavered.

Asked how concerned he was personally about Blackburn's current predicament, Kean said: "It is not about concern - it is about reality.

"We find ourselves in a position much like last year when we had to go and beat Wolves on the last day of the season. We have lost a lot of players since then - Jermaine Jones, Phil Jones, Brett Emerton, Christopher Samba.

"There is lots of experience that has left, but we have a good group. It is a young group, but a good group and we want to get back to the type of performances that we know we can deliver - much better than Tottenham, because we were so disappointing with the ball."

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez, meanwhile, is treating the clash like a cup final. A recent run of stellar results means they may be spared any final-day worries, but knowing how Blackburn are fixed, he is taking nothing for granted.

"When you have the number of points Blackburn have got, you look at it as needing to win, but we need to win as well," he said. "When you go in to the last two games of the season, we know really well, that the last six points can really change your position in the table very quickly.

"We know there are two finals and you need to approach them in that manner, because the points you earn can make up 10% of your overall total. That's how important they are."


From Belfast Telegraph