Club Focus – Blackburn Rovers – Dunn believes Blues are heading in right direction under Kean

David Dunn believes Blackburn Rovers are heading in the right direction following the Blues’ third consecutive home win under new boss Steve Kean. Dunn, who was Rovers’ top scorer last season, is enjoying the entertaining style of football now being played at Ewood Park and the influential attacking midfielder feels the team are confident they can push higher up the table.

Indeed, Blackburn’s comfortable 2-0 victory over newly-promoted West Brom lifted them up to seventh place in the Premier League – a position which, if maintained, could see them gain entry into the Europa League qualifiers next season. Dunn told Radio Rovers: “It seems a while ago that I was a young lad playing and trying to entertain a little bit but it is a real pleasure watching the young lads taking people on and playing with that enthusiasm and freedom that we all want to see.” He added: “We have the confidence in our dressing room to know that we can push on up that table.”

The Blues have been impressive under Kean’s management so far. The Scotsman has allowed Rovers to play more open football, something which has left fans in the stands quite happy and proud of recent displays. Under former boss Sam Allardyce, Rovers were very effective in getting results and points on the board, however, one key criticism of Big Sam’s approach to games was the long-ball style in which his teams set out to play. Although this earned the Lancashire side a top-half finish last campaign, some fans were far from happy with the tactics which sometimes resulted in periods of relatively dull football.

Of course, many suggest that Rovers were playing to their strengths under Allardyce, and this is somewhat true. With a squad of reasonably tall, ageing players, direct football appeared to be the best option to use in order to gain points. But rookie boss Kean has dispelled that myth. Now, Rovers are playing glossier football and the former first team coach has given opportunities to more creative players to try and add a bit of spice to Rovers’ play. Junior Hoilett was only given a bit-part role under Allardyce, but the Canadian winger is now lighting up the Premier League with his pace and trickery – and Kean must be given credit for allowing Hoilett to shine.

However, the Blues are still able to take advantage of some aspects of the old tactics. Morten Gamst Pedersen’s long throws are still a potent weapon and Paul Robinson’s brilliant distribution gives Rovers an opportunity to go back to basics and route one football if the need arises. Nevertheless, even this is becoming less frequent as Kean continues to encourage his side to play a more open game.

Meanwhile, recent reports suggest that Tottenham are planning to swoop for Robinson, as Harry Redknapp continues to assess his goalkeeping options. Robinson, who has retired from international football, has been in scintillating form for Rovers this season and is undoubtedly one of the key players at Ewood Park. Amidst Spurs’ interest, Rovers are looking to tie Robinson down to a new contract as the Blues continue in their quest to better the tenth-place finish they achieved last season.

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