Blackburn Club Focus – Fulham draw little comfort to struggling Rovers

A 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage saw Blackburn Rovers slip to the bottom of the table following the last round of Premier League fixtures. Steve Kean’s side conceded just six minutes after taking the lead through a superb strike from Spanish starlet Ruben Rochina, and Fulham looked more likely to win as the game progressed. However, Rovers put on an excellent defensive display to deny the home side all three points.

Under normal circumstances, Rovers’ supporters would probably have been happy to take a point on their travels. But, having lost their opening three fixtures, the Lancashire outfit were desperately seeking a much-needed win, which simply never looked like happening after Fulham equalised. However, Kean still remains positive ahead of the home game against Arsenal next weekend.

The Rovers manager said: “We’ve got our first point but we really should have had more. If you look back at the Everton game that was really tough to take as I thought we’d done enough to get all three. And against Wolves we could have got a point, we were good enough in spells. I’m glad the fans have seen a performance and a point away from home because it has been tough. Now we’ll look forward to Arsenal.

Kean recently told fans to judge performances after the transfer window had closed, but of the three most recent experienced signings, only Scott Dann was used at Craven Cottage. Exciting Montenegrin attacking midfield Simon Vukcevic and Nigerian striker Yakubu were left on the bench, though Scottish forward David Goodwillie was handed his first start. Apart from an under-hit pass in the first-half, Dann slotted in relatively comfortably alongside captain Chris Samba, while Goodwillie looked dangerous at times. It remains to be seen how quickly Kean can blend his other new signings into the team.

Despite guiding his side to their first point of the season, Kean is under some pressure. Some fans have recently written a letter to owners Venky’s asking them to dismiss the manager, while protests are also being planned ahead of the next game. But Kean is confident he can turn things around at Ewood Park. He told the Lancashire Telegraph: “I think if you actually speak with the fans, the way we’re playing I don’t think we could have done too much more in the last game. I think maybe there’s a minority of the fans who are frustrated. The top half is certainly achievable. One win takes you halfway up the table.

The Rovers boss insists he has a good relationship with the club’s owners and clearly believes he is still the right man for the job. However, the Lancashire side will need to start winning games soon if they are to avoid being sucked into a relegation battle for the second consecutive season. Three points against Arsenal this weekend would certainly lighten up the mood around Ewood Park.

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