Thursday 30 March 2017

Poor form fails to rattle Rovers boss

EVERTON 2 BLACKBURN 0

Andy Hampson

Blackburn boss Steve Kean claimed not to be worried as his side slipped deeper into relegation trouble with a dismal defeat at Everton. Rovers are now just two points above the relegation zone.



They are without a win in nine league games and have just five matches remaining to ensure they collect enough points for survival.

"I don't think it was a worrying performance. The overall performance was of two totally different halves," said Kean.

"We were by far the better in the first and they were the better in the second. I think whoever was going to get the first goal today was always going to be in the box seat."

Everton upped the tempo after a drab first half to claim the lead after 54 minutes with a deflected Leon Osman shot.

The goal was Everton's reward for a spell of dominance and the Merseysiders made the game safe when Leighton Baines drilled in a penalty after a foul on Seamus Coleman by Phil Jones.

"We felt because Everton were defending quite high there was lots of space behind Leighton Baines and Tony Hibbert," Kean added.

"We felt we could exploit that -- play the ball back into midfield and then quickly get beyond them and play a penetrating pass. But then obviously when the goal went in, that changes the outlook of the game."

Everton are now unbeaten in seven games and just a point behind their arch-rivals Liverpool in sixth place. Manager David Moyes felt his side owed much to the all-action performance of Osman, whose fourth goal of the season was also his third in six games.

"I thought we played quite well," he said. "In the first half we were a little bit slow and gave the ball away quite a bit. But with the players we have got out that is always going to happen.

"If anyone thought it was going to be smooth and silky, that was never going to be the case. We played better in the second half and upped the tempo a little bit. In Leon Osman we had someone who was a match-winner by a long way."

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