Kean can keep Blackburn up! Former Rovers star Savage backs under pressure boss
Former Blackburn midfielder Robbie Savage has come to the defence of Rovers boss Steve Kean and believes the under-fire Scot can keep the club in the Premier League.
Blackburn are inside the bottom three and have been involved in a relegation scrap all season.
Still going strong: Steve Kean has endured a tough tenure as Blackburn boss
Fans have shown their dissatisfaction by staging protests against the 44-year-old and club owners the Venky’s.
But Savage believes that the Glaswegian has performed well in difficult circumstances, including having to deal with outgoing stars and tight transfer restrictions, and is not getting the full credit he deserves.
‘It’s been Steve Kean against the world,’ Savage said. ‘He is a fantastic coach, and the players like him. How many teams go to Anfield and Old Trafford and pick up four points That was amazing.
‘They’ve got Yakubu who has done more than what anyone thought, they’ve played without [Chris] Samba and lost Ryan Nelsen to Spurs – he was injured.
‘David Dunn doesn’t play every week who is probably one of their most influential players and they’ve got a lot of young kids who have come through and done exceptionally well.
Time to go: Blackburn fans have staged protests against Kean and the Venky's for the majority of the season
Kean was an unpopular choice to replace Sam Allardyce at Ewood Park after the current West Ham boss was sacked with the club mid-table in December 2010.
The Scot kept Rovers up on the final day of last season, but he has failed to win over the fans. A low point came in a 2-1 home defeat to Bolton before Christmas where Kean was victim of hostile protests from the home crowd during the game.
Savage, who played for Rovers between 2005 and 2008, believes the experience had made him a stronger manager and that he has the full support of the players going into the final stages of the season.
Backing five-a-side: Savage hopes to help develop more local football pitches for young players
‘I respect him hugely with what he has been through, I think no manager deserves to go through that. I think he has answered a few critics. I believe he could keep them up over Wolves, Wigan and Bolton. I still speak to a few of the boys and there is togetherness at the club.
‘Steve Kean has turned it around and I was a critic of his. I just felt Blackburn were that bad at the beginning of the season.
‘The fans' hatred towards the club, not so much the players, and towards him was getting out of hand.
If I was him I would have walked but it takes a brave man to do what he has done and sit through it and believe what he is good at that and to prove that. Fair play to the guy.
‘I think after surviving that game against Bolton he probably has the safest job in the Premier League – if there is one!’
Blackburn, who are only in the bottom three on goal difference, host Aston Villa this weekend.
Robbie Savage has teamed up with Pepsi Max to launch ‘Transform Your Patch’ – a campaign which aims to regenerate around 165 outdoor spaces across the UK with the help of the public. To vote for Robbie Savage and 5 a side football pitches visit www.transformyourpatch.com