Saturday, 22 September 2012

Steve Kean Faces Nervous Wait Over His Rovers Future

Nuno Gomes
Steve Kean will spend a nervous weekend sweating on his future after a double from stand-in striker Lukas Jutkiewicz condemned his Blackburn side to a surprise defeat.

The Rovers manager, set a tough target of 16 points from the opening seven games, has come up two short and is now exposed to the will of his Indian paymasters, Venky's.

The fact Blackburn have produced a table-topping total of 14 will bring pleas for clemency from his few supporters at Ewood Park.

But on the back of a shambolic relegation from the Premier League and against a backdrop of fan unrest he stands on shaky ground.

Director Shebby Singh was brought in during the summer with a mandate to shake things up and he is not expected to extend the kind of sympathetic hearing Kean enjoyed last season.

Especially after watching Jutkiewicz, called up as a late replacement for the injured Ishmael Miller, easily dispatch a disjointed Blackburn.

But a defiant Kean still holds out hope he can continue a role that has a divisive affect on the club.

He said: 'I speak to the owners nearly every day and it's not just about points, its about making sure we stay top for as long as possible.

'We have to make sure we are one of those top two teams at the end of the season.

'We are top of the league, averaging two points a game and if we do that all season we will probably be champions.'

Kean's optimism is founded on his free scoring strike force of Jordan Rhodes and Nuno Gomes.

The Portuguese was recalled to feast on a Middlesbrough defence that shipped four goals in defeat at Blackpool on Tuesday - a third away defeat for Tony Mowbray's men.

But Middlesbrough turned up in the form that has seen win all four of their home games this term and edged ahead in the seventh minute.

Jutkiewicz, having beaten Gael Givet to a long clearance, raced away from the French defender, took a return pass from Marvin Emnes and beat Paul Robinson at his near post.

With Boro dominating, Martin Olsson was needed to hack off his line when Robinson failed to hold Mustapha Carayol's shot.

But there was no denying Jutkiewicz on the hour mark as he expertly powered a back post header beyound Robinson from Carayol's cross.

Blackburn charged forward looking to salvage a result and when sub Grant Hanley guided a header past Jason Steele hope flickered briefly before fading into a chorus of boos that were music to the ear of Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray.

He said: 'We were looking for a reaction after Tuesday's defeat.

'We took a knock against Blackpool. They gave us a football lesson and we needed to bounce back against a team that is top of the table.'

No comments:

Post a Comment