Blackburn Club Focus – Kean receives backing from Villas-Boas

Highly-rated Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has given his backing to Blackburn Rovers boss Steve Kean ahead of this weekend’s crunch clash between the two sides at Ewood Park. The former Porto boss, who replaced Carlo Ancelotti in the summer, has recently overseen a cluster of poor results; however he is not under as much pressure as struggling Scot Kean.

Rovers are currently occupying a place in the Premier League relegation zone and the Lancashire outfit have won just one of their ten top-flight games so far this campaign. While Kean would suggest that his side have simply been unlucky with results this season, many supporters believe that he is just not the right man for the job.

But Villas-Boas has claimed that those fans are being ‘disrespectful’ towards Kean. The Portuguese manager said: “Blackburn is a team that is going through ups and downs in terms of emotions and a public that has shown a bit of disrespect for the manager, for the quality of work he does.” He added: “Steve is my friend and I have high respect for what he has done. The owners have done tremendously well in protecting Steve because they believe in his talent.”

Villas-Boas is not the only manager to have shown Kean some much-needed backing. In recent weeks, the likes of Alan Pardew and Harry Redknapp have both offered some words of encouragement to the Rovers boss. However, fans of the Lancashire club are ignoring the views of those successful managers and will instead protest against Kean once again this weekend. Some supporters will also be aiming their anger in the direction of club owners Venky’s.

But for the majority of fans, Saturday afternoon is not about getting involved in protests, but actually getting fully behind the team ahead of what will be a very tough fixture. Rovers are in desperate need of a win and those three precious points which they were so close to clinching at Norwich last week.

However, Kean will be without some of his experienced stars, including three defenders. Former Real Madrid legend Michel Salgado, expensive summer signing Scott Dann and experienced New Zealand star Ryan Nelsen are all injured, while midfielder Vince Grella will also be unavailable. Kean still has several options available, but experience is needed during these tough times for the club.

However, Kean believes his available players are developing an understanding on the pitch. He said: “I think the side have an understanding now, certainly the full backs and the wide players, whilst the central partnership has been excellent. The two central midfielders – Morten and Steven – have been playing well, and although we’ve changed the strikers a little bit, on the whole it has been a consistent group and I think that has really helped.” That understanding will have to be perfect if Rovers are to get a good result this weekend.

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