Steve Kean's Rovers enter last-chance saloon


The Blackburn manager, Steve Kean, feels any nerves his players take into tonight's home game against Wigan Athletic could give them an extra edge in what will be a genuine relegation battle. Blackburn are 19th in the Premier League with two games to play.

There is plenty of youth in their side and Kean knows the enormity of the fixture is likely to play on one or two minds. He is optimistic, though, that it is something that might bring out the best in his team rather than inhibit them, particularly given the way training has gone ahead of the match.

Asked about nerves in the camp, Kean said: "I feel as if it can give a positive edge. Sometimes you can look at the lads and think they are a little bit nervous and there is a negative energy, but they have looked bright and sharp on the training ground."

Blackburn have lost six of their last seven games – their latest outing being a 2-0 defeat at Tottenham a week ago, in which they failed to muster a single shot on goal – but Kean insists his team can beat the drop. They avoided relegation on the final day of last season, running out 3-2 winners over fellow strugglers Wolves, and the Scot is keeping the faith that something similar will happen this time around.

"It is not about concern – it is about reality," he said when asked whether he is worried about his side's predicament. "We find ourselves in a position much like last year when we had to go and beat Wolves on the last day of the season.

"We have lost a lot of players since then – Jermaine Jones, Phil Jones, Brett Emerton, Christopher Samba. There is lots of experience that has left, but we have a good group. It is a young group, but a good group and we want to get back to the type of performances that we know we can deliver – much better than Tottenham, because we were so disappointing with the ball.

"I didn't expect it to come to this, but there has been a big transition in players. We have promoted a lot of the younger ones, maybe a little bit earlier than they would have played, but we have great players for the future and we have to make sure we stay in this league. I am still convinced we can do it."

The winger Martin Olsson could be back in Blackburn's starting XI for the game after spending Rovers' last three matches on the bench because of a niggling groin complaint. Bradley Orr (Achilles) will be assessed ahead of kick-off, while fellow defender Grant Hanley (knee) remains sidelined. Kean has confirmed that the Scottish striker David Goodwillie – who was given a community service order earlier this week for assaulting a man in Glasgow – will be part of the squad.

Blackburn v Wigan

Kick-off Tonight, 8pm (Sky Sports 1). Ref M Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear). Odds: Bl'burn 6-4; Draw 5-2; Wigan 7-4.

Suggested Topics
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
Arts and Entertainment
Worldwide ticket sales for The Lion King musical surpassed $6.2bn ($3.8bn) this summer
tvMusical is biggest grossing show or film in history
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits