Shortly after the shock departure of Sam Allardyce, Kean was appointed as Rovers’ manager until the end of the season, much to the bemusement of some fans. However, despite a stuttering start to his managerial career, the former first team coach seems to have won a section of the supporters over following yesterday’s victory. Just days before, a chorus of boos could be heard around Ewood Park as the Blues fell to a disappointing defeat against Stoke. Both that result, and the stalemate against West Ham last week, left fans wondering whether the Scotsman was really the right man for the job. However, with three points under his belt, Kean can now take his side to Sunderland looking for another away win.
However the young forward Kalinic will not be available for that game following his red card against West Brom. The Croatian striker was the key man for Blackburn in their win, opening the scoring after just three minutes and then adding a crucial second early in the second half, however he was later sent off for a nasty looking tackle on Paul Scharner. Mame Diouf, on loan from Manchester United, grabbed a third to secure victory for the Lancashire outfit.
There was much pessimism from a majority of Blackburn fans going into the match, due to the events of the last few weeks. Some believed that the side were on a downwards spiral, slipping lower down the table. But credit must be given to the team for sticking together and getting a positive result. Although Rovers’ fans were supportive of their team for the majority of the home game against Stoke, an air of negativity could be sensed in the crowd and this may well have led to a poor performance from the side. However, that pressure of performing in front of the fans was lifted at the Hawthorns, where the Blues had freedom to play and eventually got the much-needed win.
Meanwhile, another piece of positive news for Blues fans is that defender Chris Samba now appears to be willing to stay at Ewood Park. The centre-back, who indicated he wanted to move away from the club last week, was stripped of the club captaincy by Kean, but the Rovers boss says he has had positive talks with the fans favourite and is confident Samba is now committed to staying. Samba, who was signed for £400,000 by former boss Mark Hughes, was reportedly being chased by the likes of Tottenham in the summer. It recently emerged that the defender had wanted to leave Ewood for a year, and was ready to hand in a transfer request. But Kean now believes that request will not be made.
It is vital for Blackburn to keep players of Samba’s quality, particularly if they are to climb up the table. With investment from the new owners in January, coupled with more points on the board under Kean, the future could be brighter for Blues fans.