Beleaguered Steve Kean eyes promotion for Blackburn Rovers

Updated: 19 August 2012 16:40 IST

Under-pressure Blackburn manager Steve Kean insisted his players were good enough to win a return to the Premier League despite watching them concede a late equaliser in their first Championship match since 1999.

Beleaguered Steve Kean eyes promotion for Blackburn Rovers

London:

Under-pressure Blackburn manager Steve Kean insisted his players were good enough to win a return to the Premier League despite watching them concede a late equaliser in their first Championship match since 1999.

Kean was told this week that he will lose his job if his team loses three consecutive matches early in the season, but his players responded to that threat by the club's global adviser Shebby Singh by grinding out a 1-1 draw at Ipswich.

The Scot was encouraged by Blackburn's spirited efforts even though they squandered the chance for a morale-boosting win when Jason Lowe's 83rd minute own goal cancelled out a debut strike from Colin Kazim-Ricahrds.

"Our fans travelled in numbers and saw a spirited, organised and athletic performance," Kean said.

"We feel we've got a really good, competitive squad and that we're good enough to bounce back at the first attempt."

Bolton fared worse in their return to second-tier football, losing 2-0 to local rivals Burnley, whose fans gave former Clarets manager and current Wanderers boss Owen Coyle a hostile reception.

"The atmosphere was what it was," he said. "Whatever happened today was never going to spoil my view of this club.

"We used the fans to great effect when I was at the club so I can hardly moan when I leave and they react like that."

Current Burnley boss Eddie Howe hoped the comfortable win would set his team up for the season ahead.

"It's only one game so we can't get carried away, but it's certainly a good performance and hopefully it will give the lads a lot of confidence," he said.

Stale Solbakken, the new manager of relegated Wolves, admitted he was desperate to change the club's losing mentality after going down 1-0 at Leeds.

"The only way you can change it is to win that first game and get that winning feeling," he said.

"We are trying to find a winning formula. The team lost many games last season, maybe one win in 26 or 27. But now we have two home games and maybe we can get it then."

Leicester manager Nigel Pearson was relieved after his team lived up to their status as favourites for promotion by cruising to a 2-0 win in their opener against Peterborough.

"It is good to get off to a winning start because we know the expectation on us is going to be there," he said.

"We all want to do it, but it is going to be hard work for us. It is a very difficult division to get promoted and we have a tough opening 10 games so we need to do well at home".

After a goalless first half at the King Power Stadium, defender Wes Morgan claimed the Foxes' first goal of the season before substitute Andy King sealed the win with a neat finish from inside the penalty area.

New Watford boss Gianfranco Zola urged his players to set their sights on the top of the table after loanees Almen Abdi and Matej Vydra scored two late goals to snatch a dramatic 3-2 win at Crystal Palace.

"The two new players who scored are quality players," former Chelsea star Zola said. "They have shown it today. Hopefully that is just the beginning.

"How far we can go is difficult to say, but we will give it (promotion) a go."

Topics : Football Blackburn Rovers
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