Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Premier League

Blackburn owners have faith in Steve Kean

Blackburn's Indian owners are confident caretaker boss Steve Kean has the drive to match their own lofty ambitions for the club.

Poultry firm Venky's, who bought Rovers in a £43million deal last month, sacked manager Sam Allardyce this week, claiming he was not the man to take them forward.

Venky's have spoken of their desire to finish in the top four or five of the Barclays Premier League despite not promising big funds for transfers.

The company are now planning to conduct a long and thorough search for a new manager but in the meantime feel Kean has an ideal opportunity to state his credentials.

Former Celtic player Kean, 43, has a good coaching reputation within the game and turned down the chance to take over as manager at Kilmarnock last summer.

Venky's chairperson Anuradha Desai told BBC Radio Five Live: "This is a guy who is hard-working, who loves the team and is very motivated.

"This is very important, you need to be motivating the people around. You should be thinking big.

"If I say I want to achieve the number four position I will try hard and at least come near that. That was missing.

"We have to think positive and this man is very positive.

"That is why we said he is the guy who can take us up. We should give him all the support."

Kean was brought to Ewood Park as first-team coach by Allardyce last year.

The Scot has previously worked on the backroom staff at Reading and under Chris Coleman at Fulham, Real Sociedad and Coventry.

Venky's ambitions for the club include exploiting the potentially lucrative Indian market.

"This is a country of 1.2billion people," said Desai.

"You can see the kind of success cricket has achieved.

"Football is really growing fast in terms of popularity.

"The boys here between the ages of seven and 12, they are all taking to football, they know what is happening in the EPL, they know what is happening with football all over the world.

"I feel it is a matter of time - maybe five years - it will be a very big thing in India.

"For Blackburn Rovers, this takeover by an Indian company will make all the difference.

"Already you can look at the press, the way they carry stories on Blackburn, which no one had heard of.

"You have heard of Arsenal, you have heard about Manchester United.

"Today Blackburn is already a big name."