Blackburn confirm Kean to stay

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The Independent Football

Steve Kean has been given the chance to prove his management credentials after Blackburn owners Venky's today announced he will remain in charge until the end of the season.

The 43-year-old was promoted from first-team coach to caretaker boss following the surprise sacking of Sam Allardyce and assistant Neil McDonald last week.

Indian poultry giants Venky's, who took over the club last month, stressed they would not be rushing to appoint a permanent successor to Allardyce, and today they put their trust in Kean despite his lack of managerial experience.

A club statement read: "Following the departure of Mr Sam Allardyce as football manager of Blackburn Rovers Football Club earlier this month, Mr Steve Kean was appointed as manager.

"Venky's London Limited - Blackburn Rovers - has decided to continue with Mr Steve Kean as manager, until the end of the season, June 2011."

Kean's first game in charge was a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Barclays Premier League bottom side West Ham last weekend, after which he stressed he did not know how long his tenure would last.

But in talks with the owners this week, reportedly on a whistlestop trip to India, the Glaswegian appears to have convinced them he is a safe pair of hands.

Kean, who was previously assistant to Chris Coleman at Fulham, Real Sociedad and Coventry, could have been forgiven for having second thoughts after a first 10 days in charge that has included public dissent from fans and players as well as a growing injury list.

His position was also publicly questioned yesterday by Allardyce, who claimed McDonald would have been a better choice to succeed him.

Kean's first priority on his return to Ewood Park will be to try to placate captain Christopher Samba, who has reportedly told the club he wants to leave.

"If this is the way the club's going to be run from now on, I don't want to be part of it and I want to leave," the defender was reported as saying in The Sun.

"As captain it's very difficult to say this but I've thought long and hard about it. Nobody in football understands the decision to sack Sam."

Former captain Ryan Nelsen was also left confused, and said following the West Ham draw: "I have no problem with any owners doing anything, it's their club.

"But, the thing is, when you make a monumental decision like that - and it's the biggest decision any club can make - you like to think there's a back-up plan.

"We as players know nothing, the staff know nothing. Nobody knows anything about what's going on."

Boos greeted the final whistle on Saturday at the end of a game in which Kean lost two players for considerable spells of time.

Defensive starlet Phil Jones, 18, is likely to miss most of the rest of the season following knee surgery this week while striker Jason Roberts could be out for up to seven weeks with a hamstring injury.

Today's decision means Kean will be the man in the hotseat during the January transfer window, although how much money he will have to spend remains unclear.

The owners have already set a top-seven finish as their target but were forced to deny reports that a dispute over transfer targets was behind the sacking of Allardyce.

Rovers go into Boxing Day's clash with Stoke at Ewood Park sitting 12th in the table, six points above the relegation zone and four points behind seventh-placed Bolton.