Blackburn 1 Middlesbrough 2: Jutkiewicz turns screw as Kean fails to hit points total
20:59 GMT, 21 September 2012
Steve Kean will spend a nervous weekend sweating on his future after a Lukas Jutkiewicz double condemned his Blackburn side to a surprise defeat.
The Rovers manager was set a tough target of 16 points from the opening seven games by the club’s Indian owners Venky's and has come up two short.
The fact Blackburn have produced a table-topping total of 14 will go in his favour, but director Shebby Singh was brought in during the summer with a mandate to shake things up at the relegated club and he is not expected to extend the kind of sympathetic hearing Kean enjoyed last season.
Missed the target: Steve Kean was told he had to earn 16 points from Blackburn's first 7 games – they only got 14
Game over: Lukas Jutkiewicz scores the second goal
Blackburn: Robinson, Orr, Dann, Givet, Martin Olsson (Grant Hanley 48), Ribeiro (Formica 46), Murphy, Etuhu, Nunes, Nuno Gomes, Rhodes.
Subs Not Used: Kean, Lowe, Dunn, Pedersen, Rochina.
Booked: Martin Olsson, Givet, Orr.
Goals: Grant Hanley 89.
Middlesbrough: Steele, Hoyte,
Woodgate (Hines 84), Bikey, Friend, Thomson, Carayol (Zemmama 88),
Leadbitter (Bailey 88), McEachran, Emnes, Jutkiewicz.
Subs Not Used: Leutwiler, Ledesma, Arca, Luke Williams.
Goals: Jutkiewicz 7, 61.
Ref: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire).
Blackburn came into the game boasting their best start to a season in 18 years having gone six games unbeaten.
The last time they kicked off a
campaign so successfully they finished as Premier League champions.
Those days are long gone. Kean did have high expectations of hitting his
points target, a optimism founded partly on the fact that he possesses a
dyanmic strike force of Jordan Rhodes and Nuno Gomes.
The Portuguese was recalled here to
take on a Middlesbrough defence that shipped four goals in losing at
Blackpool on Tuesday — a third away defeat for Tony Mowbray’s men.
But Middlesbrough turned up in the
form that has seen win all four of their home games this term and were
ahead in the seventh minute.
Justin Hoyte made sure he got distance
on his clearance from inside the Boro area and 1.3m signing Jutkiewicz
rose above Gael Givet to win the ball.
He cleverly found Marvin Emnes with
his flick on and by the time the Dutchman returned a pass, Jutkiewicz
was away from the leaden-footed Givet and slotting past Paul Robinson.
Punishment: Jutkiewicz (right) celebrates his first goal while Spin: Grant Leadbitter dodges Danny Murphy
Minutes later keeper Robinson
misjudged Grant Leadbitter’s inswinging free-kick and was relieved to
see it fly past his post as the visitors took control.
The players left to a round of boos at
the break and things didn’t get much better in the second half. Within
seconds of the restart Mustapha Carayol’s cross was cleared off the
line but there was no denying Jutkiewicz on the hour mark.
Carayol cut in from the left and delivered the ball to the far post
where Jutkiewicz sent a header into the top corner. Grant Hanley sparked
hopes of a comeback when he headed in from six yards with two minutes
left but Blackburn failed to find an equaliser in the closing stages.
Thriller: The few fans who did show up got to see an entertaining game