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Kean tips Rovers to make it to Wembley

BLACKBURN boss Steve Kean backed his players to go all the way to the Carling Cup final after seeing off Newcastle in a dramatic fourth-round tie at Ewood Park.

Rovers eventually triumphed 4-3 in extra-time to inflict a first defeat of the season on the Magpies, and Kean insists his side can reach Wembley despite their struggles in the league, where they remain bottom.

Kean said: "Why not - and I said that to the players before the game.

"There's teams that have fancied it in the competition in years gone by and prospered, and we fancy it. It also creates competition for places in the team in the league and we will give it a good go."

Kean also hailed "warrior" Gael Givet after the French defender's winner in the final minute of extra-time.

He added: "Gael Givet encapsulates the whole spirit we have got here -- he had a hamstring nick but would not come off. He's a warrior, he has put his head where other people wouldn't put their feet. He was fantastic."

Ruben Rochina and Yakubu had put Blackburn on their way to victory, only for Danny Guthrie and Yohan Cabaye to hit injury-time strikes to send it to extra-time.

Morten Gamst Pedersen's free-kick then made it 3-2, Peter Lovenkrands equalised from the spot -- and then came Givet's heroics.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew praised his players for refusing to give up the fight and queried some of referee Robert Madley's decisions -- in particular rejecting a Demba Ba penalty claim and then awarding one against keeper Tim Krul.

Pardew said: The players don't know when to give in, two great hits got us back in the game, but tiredness cost us at the end. If we are going to go out of the Cup that's how it should be -- giving it everything."