Kean ready for upbeat meeting with Rovers' owners

Blackburn manager Steve Kean should be able to present a much more positive report to the club's owners when he flies out to India in a week's time.

Updated: May 01, 2011 11:15 IST
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Blackburn: Blackburn manager Steve Kean should be able to present a much more positive report to the club's owners when he flies out to India in a week's time.

Kean has a meeting scheduled after the Premier League fixture at West Ham on Saturday, by which time Rovers could already have done enough to guarantee top-flight football at Ewood Park again next season.

If so, Saturday's 1-0 victory over Lancashire rivals Bolton, courtesy of Swede Martin Olsson's first-half goal, could prove to be pivotal.

Nothing can be taken for granted in this season's Premier League relegation battle but this was a huge result for Rovers.

They went into the game without a win in their previous ten Premier League fixtures and seemingly in freefall towards the bottom three.

They now sit on 38 points, just two short of a total that Kean believes will secure another season in the top-flight.

"I would imagine if you have 40 points and a good goal difference, which is what we have, then that's going to see you safe," Kean said.

"A lot of other results went for us and we can now look forward to the West Ham game.

"I thought we played with a lot of spirit and commitment. There wasn't a want for three points, there was a need, and you could feel that in the dressing room beforehand.

"The players were extremely professional and gave me every single thing I asked for...and more."

Kean singled out Olsson as a key figure in a victory over a Bolton side who were clearly not at their best at the end of a hectic fortnight which included a demoralising FA Cup semi-final defeat to Stoke City and a 3-0 Premier League reverse at Fulham in midweek.

Wanderers boss Owen Coyle was forced to put out a makeshift side due to a combination of injuries and tired legs.

Kean added: "I thought Martin (Olsson) was our match-winner. He was up against David Wheater, who was not playing in his natural position. I thought we could use his pace and penetration and on top of that he produced a good finish."

Olsson goals have been rare since he joined Rovers in 2006 and his only other Premier League strike this season was against Liverpool in January. But he took his chance with style to net from 16 yards.

Meanwhile, Coyle has challenged Bolton players to ensure their season does not fizzle out.

Wanderers were touted as Europa League candidates not so long ago, but now look like they will have to be content with a top ten finish.

"I was disappointed to lose a local derby but that's the margins in this league and you have to come out on the right side. We didn't," Coyle said.

"I felt the application was terrific given we had a decimated team and players were playing out of position. Many acquitted themselves well for effort but I think we have more quality than we showed today.

"We had a tough game away from home in midweek and we had to try and get some freshness into the side. We have the smallest squad in this league and were down to our last 18.

"We started well and could and should have scored when we hit the post. We shot ourselves in the foot with the goal because we had the ball in a good position and gave possesion away cheaply.

"Good luck to Blackburn in their relegation fight but I feel we are a better team than we showed."

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