Rovers rely on weakness of others as Kean slump deepens

Everton 2 Blackburn 0
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The Independent Football

it seems ironic, to say the least, that the man who may well ultimately save Steve Kean's job is the man he replaced as Blackburn Rovers manager.

When Sam Allardyce was relieved of his Blackburn duties in December, Rovers were in 12th spot in the Premier League table, just a week after being as high as eighth.

Since then, and particularly during a 2011 that continues to be absolutely dreadful with just one win in January to its name, Rovers have slipped inexorably down the table and ever closer to the relegation zone.

They, and consequently Kean's employment, should still be safe. But only because there are, just about, three teams in the Premier League that are worse than them, and thanks to the 21 points Allardcye had squeezed out of a Blackburn squad that has added just 14 since he left.

"Before today we had gone three games unbeaten so it depends what way you look at it," Kean said after a fine finish from the ever-improving Leon Osman and a Leighton Baines penalty wrapped this game up for Everton.

"It's difficult. It's obviously more difficult when you're on a run when you haven't won compared to one when you are winning. That's when your team spirit and togetherness are questioned.

"We'll just pick ourselves up and work on the training ground on the bits of the second half which we weren't happy with, but I thought in the first half, we were excellent."

If this was Blackburn in "excellent" mode then heaven knows what they must look like on a bad day, although Everton were no better in a poor first half. That Rovers never showed a hint of desire to get back into the contest is what should worry their fans the most. Kean, it would appear, has serious work ahead.

Scorers: Everton Osman 54, Baines pen 75. Subs: Everton Rodwell (Heitinga, 15), Coleman (Gueye, 65), Vellios (Beckford, 85). Blackburn Roberts (Santa Cruz 61), Pedersen (Givet, 67), Benjani (Rochina, 81). Booked: Everton Baines, Rodwell. Blackburn P Jones, Dunn, Rochina. Man of the match Osman. Match rating 7/10.

Attempts on target: Everton 7 Blackburn 2.

Referee K Friend (Leics). Att 35,857.