Thursday 14 December 2017

Kean silencing army of doubters

Blackburn 2
West Brom 0

Graham Chase

Those most critical of last month's regime change have not only been silenced, they have pledged their future to Blackburn Rovers, who climbed to seventh place with this win yesterday.

After manager Steve Kean signed a two-year contract on Thursday, Ryan Nelsen has done the same, and the Scot is confident that captain Chris Samba, who looked set to leave following Sam Allardyce's departure, will also commit to a new deal today having already had talks with the club's owners, Venky's.

Kean's early work has shown promise. Yesterday he employed a diamond shape in midfield, with new loan signing Jermaine Jones sweeping in front of the back four, giving David Dunn freedom, with Junior Hoilett's pace causing problems on the right. After Dunn's cross was headed into his own net by Gabriel Tamas just before half-time, Hoilett drove in a second just after the break to earn a fourth win in six matches in all competitions and take Blackburn into their best league position since Mark Hughes left in May 2008. "We're hopeful of putting a new contract together in 24 hours for Chris," said Kean. "He has spoken to the owner. Hopefully that can be put together.

"The players are enjoying coming in every day. They are tight as a group. When we get another three wins under our belt we can sit down and see what's achievable this season."

Roberto di Matteo's team have lost seven of their past eight games in all competitions and are just three points above the relegation zone.

"We're a newly-promoted team and we know it's difficult for us. We have to be a bit more clinical defensively and offensively," he said. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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