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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border