Blackburn 2 Barnsley 1: So, will Venky's still axe under pressure Kean
23:13 GMT, 18 September 2012
So, what happens next Blackburn are still unbeaten and still top of the Championship. But if manager Steve Kean fails to beat Middlesbrough on Friday night, he will fall short of the points target set for him by Indian owners Venky’s.
Surely, even by the bizarre goings-on in east Lancashire over the last couple of years, they wouldn’t contemplate sacking him then Not when he has got so close to that ambitious demand of 16 points from his first seven games.
Not after backing Kean by bringing in the likes of 8million record signing Jordan Rhodes, who took his tally to three goals in two games last night, and Portuguese veteran Nuno Gomes, who scored for the fourth game in a row to snatch an 85th-minute winner.
On target: Gomes came off the bench to score the winning goal
A crowd of 12,772 was a reminder that all is still not well. And when Kean was admonished on the touchline 10 minutes from time by referee Scott Mathieson for complaining that Barnsley had encroached on Danny
Murphy’s free-kick, his own supporters urged the official to send him off. But even the manager’s harshest critics struggled to put much conviction into the sporadic chants of ‘Kean out’.
Rhodes was particularly impressive in front of watching Scotland boss Craig Levein, equalising in first-half added time after former Chelsea youth product Jacob Mellis had capitalised on neat work by Martin Cranie and Chris Dagnall to fire Barnsley into a 31st-minute lead.
Rhodes to success: The 8m signing scored his third goal in as many appearances
Blackburn: Robinson, Orr, Dann, Grant Hanley, Martin Olsson, Formica (Lowe 90), Murphy, Etuhu, Pedersen (Nunes 80),
Rochina (Nuno Gomes 66), Rhodes.
Subs Not Used: Kean, Henrique, Dunn, Ribeiro.
Goals: Rhodes 45, Nuno Gomes 85.
Barnsley: Alnwick, Stones (Perkins 73), Wiseman, Foster, Golbourne, Cywka, Dawson, Cranie, Mellis, Dagnall (Etuhu 70), Davies (Harewood 65).
Subs Not Used: Steele, Done, Digby, Noble-Lazarus.
Goals: Mellis 32.
Referee: Scott Mathieson
Scott Dann swung a free-kick wide on
the right towards the edge of the box, Morten Gamst Pedersen headed back
across goal and Rhodes took the ball on his chest before turning to
hook it past two defenders and goalkeeper Ben Alnwick.
For despondent Barnsley boss Keith
Hill it underlined the unfair advantage handed to Blackburn by their
48m parachute payments from the Premier League.
He said: ‘We’ve taken on the kings of Savile Row and, to a certain degree, played the better football but we can’t compete. It’s a travesty. How can you be rewarded for getting relegated
‘They’re trying to create a Premier League II and organise who gets promoted back from the Championship. If they’re going to give money away, share it equally among the Championship clubs.’
In fact, the game was won by Gomes, signed on a free this summer, after he came on as a 66th-minute substitute. There were just five minutes left when fellow Portuguese Fabio Nunes crossed from the left towards the near post and the 36-year-old tucked the ball in from close range.
‘I thought we were dreadful in the first half,’ said Kean. ‘But you look for special players to get you back in the game and that’s what they’ve done.’