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Black: 'I won't let Blackburn Rovers players hide behind excuses'
ERIC Black insists he won’t let his Blackburn Rovers side hide behind any excuses as he puts the focus solely on getting back to winning ways at the City Ground this evening.
Steve Kean’s former assistant has been put in temporary charge for tonight’s Championship test at Nottingham Forest and is adamant the uncertainty of the past few days won’t derail their promotion charge.
Black, 49, who has managed at both Coventry and Motherwell and been a caretaker boss at Sunderland and Birmingham, was the first to admit Kean’s Friday night resignation was a shock but knows it is time to move on.
He said: “My focus is purely on Nottingham Forest at the moment and trying to get a positive outcome and then I will refocus on Wolves.
“I have been in this situation before and I don’t want anyone to use this as an excuse. I’m not. Judge me on what happens, if it’s one game, two games, whatever.
“Don’t use any excuse that the players are a little unsettled and in a bit of limbo after what has happened. I am not having any of that.
“They are professional players, they are resilient individuals and let’s see if they can perform.
“I’m not using this as an excuse. I managed at Motherwell and Coventry and was a caretaker at Birmingham and Sunderland.”
Black’s first game at the temporary helm saw Rovers draw 1-1 at Charlton Athletic, with everyone at the club bewildered by Kean’s sudden departure.
But, Black revealed he has now spoken to his senior players about the way forward and is confident the players are strong enough to cope with the recent upheaval.
He said: “I took the nine senior players and spoke with them and told them where we are and they are very comfortable with what was happening.
“I don’t want to use this as a time of uncertainty, we can’t afford not be competitive in these games. I won’t allow that to happen.
“It is my responsibility to make sure the players aren’t knocked out of their stride and I am fully prepared to take on that responsibility.
“Some players will be unhappy, some will be happy, and all will carry on playing football. They will want to be in the team and they will be unhappy if they are not in the team.
“Footballers are a lot more resilient than you would believe and I don’t want this to be a reason for not performing.
“I think we have a settled group who know they can perform better. I’m not hiding behind that, we can perform better. But results wise the players have done extremely well for the club and we need to try and convey both. That is the challenge.”
Black, 49, faced the inevitable questions about his own future as he was strongly quizzed on whether he was interested in the full time position.
The former Aberdeen player though insisted that was something that would be looked at at a later date as he focuses on the now.
“I am in the position tomorrow night and I am looking forward to it,” he said. “Looking forward the club deserve a time to reflect what the next step is and I would hope I deserve time to reflect.
“We are very comfortable on that and I am focusing solely on the game at Nottingham Forest.
“There has been no time scale put on it, the club has every right to take their time. It is a very big job and I fully respect that it is a very, very attractive job and a lot of people will want to be in the position.”