Thursday 27 April 2017

Kean unfazed by fans' fury

Carl Markham

Defiant Blackburn manager Steve Kean vowed not to be forced out by fans and insisted it is up to him, the players and other supporters to silence the dissenters.

The 3-1 defeat at Stoke means Kean has the unenviable record of just six wins in 34 league matches since taking over from Sam Allardyce last December. Within 12 seconds of kick-off a portion of the small contingent of travelling supporters were chanting, "Kean out".

The Rovers boss, who it was revealed last week has signed a new contract, said he empathised with fans but he was not affected by their calls for his sacking. "I put it to the back of my mind. I am focused on the job," he said. "I think if there are a few fans shouting then they can shout what they want.

"All I want to do is for the fans to go home happy because they have seen us winning and play well. We are working for the same thing. Hopefully we can turn them around because I don't just think it is me, it is the players and the rest of the fans -- the majority of the fans -- who want the same thing."

Opposite number Tony Pulis, who saw his own side's four-match losing streak in the league ended, offered Kean some advice. "I've been fortunate -- or unfortunate -- to be a manager for a long time and it is a lonely job when it is not going well," he said. "The most important thing you learn is you cannot affect what happens outside your club. What you can affect is the players and performances."

In a terrible first half Stoke took the lead through Rory Delap's glancing header from Jermaine Pennant's 28th-minute free-kick. A minute into the second half Mauro Formica should have equalised but completely missed his kick from four yards and Stoke went on to extend their advantage with a deflected long-range drive from Glenn Whelan and a left-footed effort from Peter Crouch.

Ruben Rochina pulled one back four minutes from time but it made no difference to the result.

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