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We can sustain this start, says Blackburn Rovers boss
STEVE Kean believes Blackburn Rovers have what it takes to sustain their Championship promotion drive – after hailing his side’s character and courage on Saturday.
The Rovers boss was quick to admit they have to improve defensively, following a thrilling 5-3 win over Bristol City, but believes they will thrive on the pressure of being top of the league.
Two goals in injury time spared Rovers blushes, as Bristol City pegged them back twice, to maintain an unbeaten start to the season and put themselves at the top of the Championship.
Kean said: “We want the pressure, we have a good enough squad that can sustain being at the top for the whole season. We are in a nice strong position.
“We showed character and showed when you get a group of players who want to win enough, somehow you just get that bit extra.
“I thought overall we deserved the points even though we were pulling our hair out because our defending has to improve.
“The big positive we took was from going behind, it was a schoolboy goal, and we showed good courage to dictate the rest of the half and continue passing the ball and making chances.
“I thought we were well deserved of the victory.
“I thought our performance was good.
“I don’t think our defending, as a team, was great.”
With home games against Barnsley and Middlesbrough up next, Kean was refusing to get carried away after insisting his side ‘can only get better’.
“Six goals away from home is poor but four points away from home,” he said.
“That was a very good Bristol City side, they played their stuff and tried to pass the ball.
“It is about enjoying being top of the league and enjoying getting three points on the road. We can only improve.
“It was really, really difficult because when you lose someone like Gael Givet – I think he has bust a blood vessel in his leg, then you lose Markus with a hamstring.
“We will patch everyone up, we have a squad and will need to use that for the next two games.”
Kean also had some words of praise for Jordan Rhodes, after Rovers £8million man bagged an impressive brace.
The Scottish striker was a handful throughout and Kean believes there is more to come.
He said: “You pay for class. I can’t remember him giving the ball away. You get the ball to him and it sticks and he gets his chances and can score at ease.
“He is not even fazed, that is just what he does. He has the ability to always ask questions of the last defender and play off his shoulder.
“His movement is excellent and he will only get better. I felt he led the line very well, his finishes were class. When he went through on goal we expected him to score and that is a mark of his class.”