Monday, 19 December 2011

Samba Lifts Lid On Blackburn Nightmare


Chris Samba gave us a rare peep into the Blackburn dressing room after this shocker – and blew away the myth perpetrated by Steve Kean.
For months the impossibly-positive Kean has been telling the world his players are on the up.
Compelling us to believe ­confidence is high, and a jump up the table is just around the corner.
But as Kean faces his do-or-die moment when Bolton come calling tomorrow night and defeat would mean the sack, he does so fielding a side at rock-bottom.
A run of defeats under a manager with a winning rate of less than 20 per cent, played out against a backdrop of fan fury, has beaten Rovers’ shell-shocked stars into near-submission.
Far from believing their destiny is a top-10 position as Kean would have you believe, the players are questioning whether they are good enough to stay in the Premier League.
A despondent Samba said: “We are devastated. We are so low. We were not good enough out there.
“As a team we have not proved we are good enough to stay in the league. It is difficult. The mood in the dressing room is down.
“Offensively we were not good enough. Defensively, we were poor on basic defending, it was stupid. It’s draining for the players.
“We have another game at home next. To regain our spirits for that is going to be very difficult.’’
That sort of defeatist talk is the last thing Kean wants to hear as he spends the next 48 hours preparing for a game that could be his last. The word from India is that time has nearly run out on for a man who has won just seven of 37 Premier League games.
But Samba added: “The manager is doing his job and trying to lift us. But the players are responsible as well. It is our job.
“We have let our fans down a little bit by our performance. It was not just the defeat, but it was a bad way to lose.’’
It certainly was. Scott Dann had cancelled out James ­Morrison’s stunning volley. But in the last minute Peter Odemwingie picked up a ball on the right and made a beeline for goal.
Morten Gamst Pedersen, a stand-in left back, waved him through and substitute David Goodwillie jogged alongside the Nigerian before he beat Paul Robinson with a brilliant curling effort.
It was the second week in a row Rovers had lost out to a last- minute winner but they barely deserved a point on this showing. The effort could not be faulted, but a lack of invention and ­dynamism to their play smacked of a team heading to the ­Championship.
And the irony would not have been lost on sacked boss Sam Allardyce that Rovers goal came from the kind of move that earned him the bullet.
Robinson’s long punt was flicked on by Samba and Dann applied the close-range finish.
West Brom were far more polished and Morrison’s classy opener set them on their way to a first away Premier League win in the month of December.
It was Odemwingie’s effort that will have pleased boss Roy Hodgson most though.
Just a few weeks after blasting his striker for taking it easy, the hitman netted his first game since mid-October.
Morrison said: “He’s a match-winner on his day. It can take a goal like that to spark you off. Football is funny like that.”
It may be, but you won’t find Kean laughing.

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