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Kean to be cautious over Gomes
STEVE Kean will continue to take a cautious approach with Nuno Gomes as he attempts to get the best out of the 36-year-old this season.
The Portuguese striker came off the bench to score the winner in Tuesday’s 2-1 triumph over Barnsley after being rested from the starting line-up.
It was the fourth consecutive league game in which Gomes had found the net and Kean believes he will benefit from the occasional rest in a 46-game Championship season.
The Rovers boss said: “I said to him before the game, ‘It’s going to be difficult for you with the intensity’.
“The game on Saturday against Bristol City was one of the highest in the Championship when you look at all the fitness stats.
“Some of our lads were producing personal bests for distance covered. Morten Pedersen I think was the most in seven years because the intensity of the game was so high.
“I think with Nuno we’ve got to protect him, take him out at certain times and maybe bring him on as a sub, start him in other games and near the end take him off.
“I would like to think that he can have an impact in every game, be it from the start or off the bench.
“We just have to be careful, not only with him, it will be the same with Danny Murphy at times and Dickson Etuhu.”
Rovers had hoped to have another option up front in the next few matches but Kean admits Colin Kazim-Richards, who started the season with two goals in two games, may now not return until the trip to Derby on October 20 following a setback in his recovery from a knee injury.
“He had a bit of a twinge in his knee and I think it will probably be after the next international break when we see him,” Kean said.
But Kean was eager to thank the fans for their patience on Tuesday, when Rovers fell behind before recovering to win.
“It would have been easy to get on our backs because we were that poor in the first half, but they stayed with us,” he said.
“The fans have been fantastic here and they’ve been sensational on the road.”