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Kean salutes Blackburn spirit
Published : 22 Apr 2012 07:47:10
Blackburn boss Steve Kean hailed his side's fighting spirit after goals from Mauro Formica and Junior Hoilett boosted their Barclays Premier League survival chances.
Formica volleyed home a 40th-minute opener and Hoilett fired home from 25 yards early in the second half as Rovers saw off a below-par Norwich 2-0 at Ewood Park. Kean revealed afterwards both Hoilett and strike partner Ayegbeni Yakubu had played with injuries, while Gael Givet and Bradley Orr both needed pain-killing injections at half-time.
Kean said: "Junior played with a tight hamstring and Yakubu also had a tough time getting fit. Givet needed an injection at half-time for a severe dead leg, and Bradley needed one too. It's always nice when you win, but this was about the performance because we had players who were on their last legs with lots of fatigue, and they didn't want to come off the pitch."
Kean reserved particular praise for Givet, whom he dropped for last week's defeat for Swansea after declaring the Frenchman was "not in the right frame of mind" to play.
He said: "Gael's performance was no surprise to me. Since he's been at the club he's been a total warrior. He took an injection at half-time and didn't want to come off. He's been absolutely magnificent in training all week. If you train like this there's no surprise when you turn up and play like this as well."
Kean dismissed continued protests against him from the home fans, insisting his "one focus" was on claiming three points, but Norwich boss Paul Lambert called Kean's treatment "not nice".
Meanwhile, Lambert expressed his disappointment with the nature of the goals scored against his side, and urged them to continue to seek to end a fine season a high.
Lambert said: "We huffed and puffed and you've got to take your medicine and go again. I hope we will keep playing this season whether there is some meaning or not.
"The first goal was a poor goal from out point of view and for the second you can't let someone shoot from 25 yards and do nothing. You've got to get in a tackle or a block or something."
One bright spot for Lambert was the return of James Vaughan, who made his first start of the season after suffering from a crippling succession of injuries.