Blackburn Rovers are through to the next round of the FA Cup following a 1-0 victory over Championship high-flyers Queens Park Rangers at Ewood Park on Saturday. Canadian midfielder David Hoilett’s 77th minute goal sealed the win and the Blues will now face Aston Villa at Villa Park in the fourth round.
Just over 10,000 spectators turned out to watch what ended up being a poor encounter. Steve Kean handed a start to young midfielder Jason Lowe, while 16-year-old Robbie Cotton was on the bench. But the game was marred by an incident just before the half hour mark, when a nasty collision between QPR’s Jamie Mackie and Blackburn’s Gael Givet resulted in both players being stretchered off. Mackie suffered a double fracture of his leg and is expected to miss the rest of the season.
It was that incident which dominated conversation at full-time as QPR boss Neil Warnock was unhappy with how El-Hadji Diouf treated the injured opposition player. Warnock said: “The
Meanwhile, Rovers boss Kean has admitted defeat in the club’s ambitious chase for Brazilian star Ronaldinho. At his pre-match press conference on Friday, Kean told journalists that progress had been made in the club’s pursuit of the Milan man, however reports in the local media after the QPR game suggest that the move is no longer on. At Friday’s conference, Kean also accepted that Rovers’ attempt to lure David Beckham to Ewood Park on loan had also been unsuccessful because it appeared that Beckham was not willing to move to the North West.
With Ronaldinho and Beckham seemingly out of the frame and other targets Robbie Keane and David Bentley reportedly on their way to Birmingham City, it is turning into a frustrating transfer window for the Scot, who had hoped to bring in at least one player before the QPR fixture. Kean admitted that the process of recruiting new players was taking longer than expected, but he remains confident that there will be new arrivals at the club soon.
Although he was unwilling to disclose how much the new owners have given him to spend in January, Kean believes that the budget is a good one compared to what the teams in and around Rovers in the table will have to spend. The Blues boss also confirmed that no bids have been made for defender Chris Samba.
It has been a positive week for Blackburn, with back-to-back home victories earning Kean some new fans. However, supporters are still waiting on new signings and it is ultimately the quality of these imminent arrivals that will allow the fans to judge their new manager and new owners.