Steve Kean unimpressed despite Blackburn remaining top of the Championship


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The Independent Football

Blackburn manager Steve Kean admitted his side were poor in the first half against Barnsley before bouncing back to win 2-1 at Ewood Park and remain top of the npower Championship table.

Rovers trailed to a Jacob Mellis goal for Barnsley before Jordan Rhodes and Nuno Gomes ensured Blackburn remained above Blackpool at the top of the table.

Kean, who also praised summer signing Rhodes, admitted he had not been impressed by his side's display before the break.

He said: "I must be very honest. I thought we were dreadful in the first half.

"We were well under the standards we set. We didn't pass the ball well enough in any areas of the pitch."

Kean added on Rhodes: "t times like that you're looking for special players to produce something to get you back in the game and that's what Jordan did because Barnsley were far better than us in the first half."

Second-placed Blackpool hammered Middlesbrough 4-1 as Nathan Delfouneso scored his first two goals for the club on his home debut.

Delfouneso put the hosts in front after 10 minutes and it was 2-0 by the interval, Thomas Ince setting up the on-loan Aston Villa striker for his second of the night.

Josh McEachran crossed for Andre Amougou to pull one back right on half-time but Delfouneso turned provider for Ince to make it 3-1 soon after.

The striker then had a third goal disallowed in the closing stages before Elliott Grandin pulled rank to convert a late penalty.

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway admitted the display by his team, after he made six changes from the 1-1 draw against Barnsley at the weekend, had given him much to think about.

"I have to learn to be ruthless and just pick people, which is very difficult to do," he said.

"The lads realise there's a lot of competition, but what we've got to do is keep going and going."

Brighton won 1-0 at Watford to remain third as Craig Mackail-Smith won and converted a penalty early in the second half for his sixth goal in four games.

Hull, in fourth, also kept pace with the leading group with a 3-2 win away to derby rivals Leeds.

The home side took the lead through Luciano Becchio's disputed eighth-minute penalty after Hull full-back Joe Dudgeon was adjudged to have fouled El-Hadji Diouf.

But Ahmed Elmohamady equalised before setting up Hull's second for Abdoulaye Faye just before the half-hour mark, the defender heading his third goal in successive games.

The Egyptian was again the provider as Robert Koren scored in the 76th minute before Andy Gray netted a late consolation.

Cardiff also remain just a point behind the leaders in a closely-matched top five after a 2-0 win at struggling Millwall.

Peter Whittingham's free-kick was disallowed for an infringement in the box but the midfielder was not to be denied and opened the scoring in the 53rd minute.

Craig Noone got on the scoresheet in the 55th minute with a good curling finish.

Ten-man Nottingham Forest battled for a 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace.

Palace midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi headed his second goal in successive games early in the second half and Forest had Adlene Guedioura sent off with 27 minutes to go following a clash with Mile Jedinak.

But Dexter Blackstock grabbed a dramatic equaliser nine minutes from time to take Forest's points tally into double figures.

There were 2-1 wins for Birmingham against Bolton - Leroy Lita and Marlon King scoring either side of a spectacular goal from Bolton's Chris Eagles - and Bristol City away to Peterborough. Sam Baldock continued his prolific start since joining City with a quickfire second-half brace before Lee Tomlin won and converted a last-minute penalty for Posh.

Jamie Ward's double inspired Derby to an overdue win over Charlton, Craig Bryson also on target, but they had to hang on after Danny Green and Yann Kermorgant struck within a three-minute period to put the game back in the balance.