Venky's feels heat despite precious win for Rovers

Blackburn Rovers 2 Norwich City 0: Kean's losing streak comes to an end at last but still Blackburn fans vent their anger at owners

ewood park

"Made in Blackburn, destroyed in India" read several of the banners on display outside Ewood Park before kick-off yesterday as a fans' protest march from the town hall reached its destination. Yet however prevalent the discontent among Rovers supporters – and "We want Venky's out" was the song they chorused even in victory – they at least headed home with a glimmer of hope for their team's survival prospects.

Steve Kean's patched-up team earned a precious win over Norwich City yesterday that lifted them above Bolton Wanderers into 18th place with three games to play. Mauro Formica and Junior Hoilett, scoring either side of the interval, provided the goals and it was a victory that was ultimately richly deserved. "We had one focus today and it was pretty simple, the focus was to win and to get three points for Blackburn Rovers and that's what we've done and that's all I'll say on the matter," said Kean of his players' response to a run of five straight defeats and the latest swirl of negative headlines around the Lancashire club.

Even here, they were without arguably their best midfielder, Steven Nzonzi, amid rumours of a fresh fall-out. Kean explained afterwards that Nzonzi was on the bench because his "physical stats have started to tumble, which suggested he is needing a rest" and instead praised his "six or seven candidates for man of the match".

These were led by Gaël Givet, back to bolster Rovers' central defence after his own conciliatory talks with Kean, and battling on like Bradley Orr after a painkilling injection at half-time. That forwards Yakubu and Hoilett shrugged off their own respective hamstring and tendon problems to play left Kean musing that Rovers were "on their last legs" yet, encouragingly, the spirit was willing. "We felt if we went positive and with the two out and out strikers in Yakubu and Hoilett and David Dunn in that in attacking midfield position, we felt we could ask questions of Norwich's back four and we did," Kean said.

"It has given us something. The target in our remaining four games was to try and get something from every game," added the Scot, whose side have trips to Tottenham and Chelsea to come, sandwiching a home meeting with Wigan.

Rovers made a nervy start and there was a let-off for the home side when James Vaughan, finally fit to make his first Norwich start after last summer's arrival from Everton, missed his kick when the ball sat up for him in the home box. Jonny Howson then went close on the half-hour when he advanced to within shooting range and forced a fingertip save from Paul Robinson with a swirling drive.

Yet with half-time approaching, Rovers came to life as an attacking force. Yakubu provided a warning shot when Morten Gamst Pedersen nodded a Hoilett cross back into the six-yard box and the Nigerian, with an acrobatic overhead kick, sent the ball spinning against the foot of the post. Yakubu was involved again when the breakthrough came, bringing the ball forward down the inside left channel and laying it off to Pedersen whose first-time cross was dispatched coolly on the volley through the legs of John Ruddy by the unmarked Formica. "It was a poor goal from our point of view," lamented Norwich manager Paul Lambert. "There were five of us and one [Blackburn] man in the box."

Hoilett's strike early in the second half secured the points. The Canadian had scored in spectacular fashion when the sides met at Carrow Road and he did it again, cutting inside from the left flank and curling a wonderful strike beyond the grasp of Ruddy and inside the far corner of the goal. It was Hoilett's seventh goal of the season and underlined why he is expected to attract some high-profile suitors when his contract expires this summer.

Norwich had fought back from two goals behind to hold Blackburn 3-3 in October and Lambert sought a change of fortune with the introduction of Steve Morison and Aaron Wilbraham. The latter tested Robinson with a shot on the turn and might have ensured a tense finish had he got his head to Ryan Bennett's shot across goal. Instead Blackburn had their points, leaving their fans to get back to chanting against Venky's.

Blackburn (4-1-3-2): Robinson; Orr, Dann, Givet, Marcus Olsson; Lowe; Formica, Dunn (Martin Olsson, 62), Pedersen; Hoilett (Petrovic, 82), Yakubu (Modeste, 75).

Norwich (4-4-2): Ruddy; Martin, R Bennett, Ward, Drury; E Bennett, Howson, Hoolahan (Pilkington, 59), Surman; Holt (Wilbraham, 66), Vaughan (Morison, 59).

Referee Kevin Friend.

Man of the match Hoilett (Blackburn).

Match rating 6/10.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
techPatent specifies 'anthropomorphic device' to control media devices
Voices
The PM proposed 'commonsense restrictions' on migrant benefits
voicesAndrew Grice: Prime Minister can talk 'one nation Conservatism' but putting it into action will be tougher
News
Ireland will not find out whether gay couples have won the right to marry until Saturday afternoon
news
News
Kim Jong-un's brother Kim Jong-chol
news
News
Manchester city skyline as seen from Oldham above the streets of terraced houses in North West England on 7 April 2015.
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?