Belfast Telegraph

Kean rues missed chance

Blackburn boss Steve Kean admitted his side missed a chance to take a "big leap" towards Barclays Premier League safety after their 1-1 draw with Birmingham.

Junior Hoilett cancelled out Lee Bowyer's opener at the end of the first period but the second half proved a pressure-filled affair with few clear-cut chances.

It was Rovers' third consecutive draw and Kean said: "I wanted to take a big leap but we're taking little steps and we just have to keep chipping away. If all the teams around you pick up wins and you only get a point you're massively disappointed. But we're probably a little bit better off than when we started."

Kean reserved particular praise for Hoilett, who pounced on an error by Liam Ridgewell to burst clear and round goalkeeper Ben Foster before slotting home.

Kean added: "Junior has shown he can play on any side and if you're a defender and he's running at you he can petrify you with his touch and his pace."

However the hard-earned point came at a price with Hoilett limping off with a tight hamstring and Ryan Nelsen and Roque Santa Cruz also having to leave the pitch early.

Kean indicated all three substitutions were precautionary and added: "The atmosphere in the dressing room is really down. But we will soon come to realise that this is a good point."

Injury problems also continue to hit Birmingham's bid for survival with central defender Roger Johnson forced off after suffering a slight concussion in a first-half melee.

Blues boss Alex McLeish said: "Roger was a little bit groggy. He was desperate to go back on but I wasn't going to compromise his health. He's far too important a player for me."


From Belfast Telegraph