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Blackburn V West Brom at Ewood Park : Match Preview

17 Dec 2011 09:32:20

Blackburn V West Brom at Ewood Park : Match Preview

Blackburn boss Steve Kean has confirmed he sought immediate reassurances from the club's owner this week that there will be no problems with paying the players' wages.

A report at the weekend claimed Venky's, the Indian owners of Blackburn, had received a demand from Barclays bank for £10million to help to pay off the club's debts and that they could struggle to pay salaries in January.

The club insisted there is "no financial crisis" and Kean said he had been personally reassured of that by Venky's head Mrs Anuradha Desai.

Kean said: "I immediately spoke with the owner and categorically she has told me to get across to the players there won't be any problems financially on salaries or moving forward in the transfer window. "

I relayed that back to all the players directly I came off the phone - that was the way to communicate it, straight from the owners, straight back to the players.

"The players have just got on with their job and prepared for the game. We are all professional and I don't think our concentration has been affected in any way."

Saturday`s match against West Brom marks a year since Kean took over at Rovers and he has been convinced that this season especially Blackburn have not enjoyed the rub of the green in terms of refereeing decisions.

Kean has felt so strongly that he met referees chief Mike Riley to point out eight incidents he believes has cost Rovers.

He added: "We have brought the referees in, spoken to Mike Riley and his associates and showed them the incidents and we got a very good response. He was very sympathetic. "

We are looking for consistency with referees and that the whole thing evens out.

We feel there are seven or eight decisions that certainly cost us points and we have only a couple that went our way, such as the goal at Wigan when we all thought Yakubu had touched the ball at the corner.

 "It doesn't get us any more points but I hope that will be fed back."

Blackburn's next two games could prove to be pivotal to their season with West Brom's visit followed by bottom club Bolton coming to Ewood Park. Kean said: "We want six points to get us out of that horrible zone where we are. "

I think the next five days will be massive, the table can look very different and not just for ourselves but for other teams who have tough away games.

If we can get two wins back to back it could be pivotal." Gael Givet is having further tests on the heart condition that saw him forced to leave the field last weekend and is expected to miss the match. Meanwhile, Martin Olsson and Junior Hoilett are also doubtful with hamstring injuries but Steven Nzonzi returns from suspension.

West Brom boss Roy Hodgson has praised the "mental strength" of Kean in coping with constant calls for him to quit by his own fans. Hodgson was himself sacked as Rovers manager more than a decade ago despite leading them into Europe the previous season.

Now Kean is having to put up with such demands from Rovers supporters on a regular basis but Hodgson believes he is dealing with it admirably.

Hodgson said: "How you deal with such things depends on the individual but it requires enormous mental strength. "It requires determination and focus and not allowing yourself to be too swayed by things you are hearing from the outside. "

You've got to hope the players you are working with are still listening and trying to do the type of things you feel are necessary for the team to do well. "You've got to hope they are not being swayed by a lot of the outside noises and judgements they will be hearing. "

I think Steve Kean has shown a lot of dignity in that situation. He's got on with his job and actually got some quite good results along the way as well."

Hodgson also believes the situation at Rovers could develop a siege mentality which will make life tougher for Albion and other opponents.

He said: "It is possible. I'm spending a lot of time talking about Blackburn. I know the players they use and how they play and style of play. "It is possible it makes our task that little harder.

"But I just think when you are in the Premier League you will be well advised to prepare for a difficult game against every team you play against, every week, irrespective of their current situation.

"If for some reason their game is being damaged by outside influences, we will be very grateful but we don't count on it." Steven Reid (knee) is West Brom's only injury doubt. 


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