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Kean welcomes new deals for duo
Published : 24 Jan 2011 16:30:09
Blackburn manager Steve Kean believes tying key defenders Ryan Nelsen and Christopher Samba to new contracts will show that Rovers are firmly back on track.
New Zealander Nelsen penned a deal until the summer of 2013 on Saturday and the club are confident Samba will agree to improved terms early this week.
Kean said of the double deal: "It would be massive. I've spoken to Chris, I've spoken to the owner, Chris has spoken to the owner and hopefully that will get put together and we can come out with some positive information alongside Ryan Nelsen committing himself for the rest of his career to the club, which was tremendous."
That the players to commit to Blackburn are the central defensive pair is significant, given they were two of the most vocal critics following the sacking of Kean's predecessor Sam Allardyce last month.
Nelsen, who has been at the club for six years, criticised Indian owners Venky's for a lack of communication while Samba was so unhappy he threatened to leave Ewood Park.
Rovers were also worryingly close to the relegation zone but Kean, in his first managerial role, has turned things around and Sunday's 2-0 victory over West Brom lifted his side up to seventh place in the Barclays Premier League table.
He added: "They're as good a signing as a new player coming to the club. When you can tie down key members of the squad, and they commit to the club for the long term, that can only be good for everybody.
"There was obviously the confusion early on when everything turned out the way it did. But for Chris Samba as the team captain and for Ryan Nelsen as the club captain, to tie them down would be fantastic. One's already done and the second one's very close.
"There were rumours that players were unsettled, but they all want to commit themselves to the club and that's fantastic.
"The players are enjoying working. There's never been anything negative at the training ground. The lads are training well together, they're tight as a group."