Kean steps out of the shadows to stake his claim for Rovers job

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The Independent Online

Steve Kean, the Blackburn Rovers caretaker manager, once refused the opportunity to take charge of Real Sociedad out of loyalty to Chris Coleman, but the former Celtic player insisted he would have no problem succeeding Sam Allardyce at Ewood Park.

Kean has been placed in temporary charge of Rovers following this week's sacking of Allardyce and Neil McDonald, his assistant, by the club's new Indian owner, the Venky's group. His first game in charge is against bottom club West Ham United at Ewood Park today, but Kean has wasted no time declaring his intentions to land the job on a permanent basis, despite the fact it was Allardyce who appointed him to his backroom staff.

"Each circumstance is different," said Kean, whose agents are the SEM group, who are acting as consultants to Venky's with Kentaro.

"In Spain, Chris had made the decision that he wanted to leave and he was the main reason I went to Sociedad. Chris was offered the job of head coach and it is unusual for a head coach to take an assistant abroad. But he wanted me to work closely beside him so it didn't feel right for me to stay when he wanted to leave.

"You have to take each decision as it comes. I was offered the chance to go and work with Chelsea when I was assistant to Chris at Coventry. We'd only just arrived at Coventry and I felt loyalty. I decided to stay."

Blackburn have declared they are in no rush to appoint a successor to Allardyce and Kean has the opportunity to make the job his. "Is now my chance to finally step up?" he said. "I hope so. If the new owners think I'm the right person to move the club forward, then that would be fantastic. It has always been in my mind one day to be a manager of a Premier League team."

Having spent his playing career in Scotland, Wales and Portugal, Kean has established himself as one of the brightest young coaches in Britain. Aged 43, he was appointed as Blackburn's first team coach by Allardyce in August 2009. Allardyce's direct playing style was cited as one of the reasons for his downfall, but Kean has yet to decide whether to change tactics.

"Nothing has been said that we have to play a certain way or a different way. What we have to do is win as many games as we can," added Kean.

"I will take the input of the other staff that are here because they are very qualified and we have a great staff. I will run things past them and ask their opinions, like Sam would do, and then make my own decision. You might see a different dimension against West Ham, it depends on what we have discussed as a group and the game plan we have set out."