Kean maintains hope despite tough upcoming games


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The Independent Football

Blackburn manager Steve Kean is maintaining hope his side can pick up points from a tough festive period.

On paper, Rovers' chances of taking anything from their next two games look slim, with the Boxing Day trip to Liverpool followed by another away game at Manchester United.

But although Liverpool are unbeaten at home this season, they have drawn five of their eight matches, including against Swansea and Norwich, and Kean sees no reason why Blackburn cannot follow suit.

"They're tough games and tough places to go but we need to set up ourselves up and try to get something from those games because we're disappointed we didn't get anything from the last two home games," he said. "We have to go out and try and get ourselves a result that no-one will expect.

"There's always pressure in every game but I wouldn't imagine the pundits are tipping us to beat Liverpool at Anfield or Manchester United at Old Trafford so in that respect we've got nothing to lose.

"There's no reason why we can't turn things round with a couple of positive results and kick on into the new year."

On Monday's Anfield encounter, he added: "It will be a really big ask for us to get something, but why not? Other teams have gone there this season not expecting to get anything and have come away with something, so there is a possibility to get a result.

"It's a very famous and intimidating ground. There's lots of good football been played there over the years and I've always been a fan of the way Liverpool have played.

"Since Kenny (Dalglish) has gone back in again, the fans have got behind them, which has been massive for the club," Kean added pointedly, having himself been under pressure from Rovers fans almost since his appointment.

Many people expected conversations between executives of Indian owners Venky's and their manager this week to centre around Kean's position, but not so according to the man himself.

Instead, the Scot presented his list of transfer targets to help relieve an injury crisis that has robbed him of Ryan Nelsen, Scott Dann, Martin Olsson and Gael Givet, while goalkeeper Paul Robinson is also a doubt for the Liverpool clash.

Weakness in defence has been at the centre of Blackburn's struggles, with bottom-of-the-table Rovers failing to keep a clean sheet all season and shipping 38 goals in 17 games.

"We spoke about the transfer window and the need to get defenders in and just where we are," said Kean. "It was a very positive conversation. It wasn't a case where there was just positions discussed, it was names.

"I told them I think we can get these players and let's push on and get them in the early part of the window so we can have a good amount of bodies and good competition for places once the other lads get out of the treatment room.

"We talk about what I feel is the most important things. The conversations have mostly been about players' health and players coming in."