Guthrie For Blackburn? Not As It Stands
According to The Sun ... Toon midfielder Danny Guthrie is wanted by Blackburn Rovers.
But with underfire Rovers boss Steve Kean dodging the bullets, I think it is only a matter of days before he exits Ewood Park, and all talk of Guthrie will be swept under the carpet.
The former Liverpool player has suggested he could be forced out of the club, what with Alan Pardew looking at other midfield options, but the Toon boss insists Guthrie still has a future at St James' Park.
As for the Blackburn boss ... Steve Kean feels his safety could be in danger if he met with Blackburn fans.
The under-fire manager described recent criticism as "vicious" as he prepared for Boxing Day's clash at Liverpool.
Supporters brought their protests to the club's training ground on Friday when three days after the 2-1 loss to local rivals and fellow strugglers Bolton that left Rovers bottom of the table, Kean again answered questions about the club's plight and his own position.
The chants of a small group of fans outside the gates of the Brockhall Village training ground were audible from inside, and despite insisting he was still open to the idea, Kean was cautious about meeting supporters.
He said: "I have to take direction from other people as far as health and safety and making sure if we do anything like that it's in a proper environment.
"At the game the other night it was pretty vicious so it would have to be in an environment where first and foremost it was safe."
Supporters' fears about the direction the club is heading in under the guidance of Kean and Indian owners Venky's have grown this week following home defeats by West Brom and Bolton that have left them five points adrift of safety.
And it does not get any easier for Kean with a trip to Anfield to face Liverpool on Boxing Day followed by another away game against Manchester United.
The Scot insisted he would continue to take the criticism on the chin, saying: "You look at the last two games and would be expecting, like we all were, to get something from them. We didn't and we've got to face up to that.
"It's not a nice place we find ourselves in at the moment. I'll take the responsibility for that, I'll never shirk away from that or duck that. The players are giving me everything they can.
"It's been tough. It's never easy when you're getting a bit of stick but it's part of the job. There's plenty of people who have got stick over the years from fans and months later the fans are singing your name. That's football."
Kean has been left increasingly isolated, with Venky's conspicuous by their absence at recent games while local MP Jack Straw and newspaper the Lancashire Telegraph have both called for the manager to go.
He received some welcome support from his fellow managers this week, with Sir Alex Ferguson, Harry Redknapp, Owen Coyle and David Moyes all condemning the situation.
Kean said: "My phone's been going hot all week with people phoning with messages saying, 'Hang in there'.
"No disrespect to local MPs or local journalists or ex-players, but when you've got vastly experienced managers that are phoning up and saying under the circumstances you're doing a marvellous job, then I'll listen to them."
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