BLACKBURN Rovers boss Gary Bowyer has stressed that Jake Kean remains a firm part of his plans – but he has not ruled out allowing one of his goalkeepers out on loan.
Kean had been a regular in the Rovers goal in the second half of last season and the early stages of the current campaign, but the 23-year-old lost his place to Simon Eastwood in December and has now slipped to third in the pecking order following Paul Robinson's return.
The impressive form of Robinson makes the former England keeper favourite to keep his place for the foreseeable future, so it is possible that Rovers could allow Kean or Eastwood to go on loan to get some much needed game time.
“We’re blessed at the moment to have three goalkeepers really pushing each other to get that number one jersey,” Bowyer said.
“With regards to one of them going on out on loan, that is something we would have to assess if there were any enquiries.”
Bowyer, though, has insisted that Kean and Eastwood are both very much still in his long-term thoughts.
“We can’t forget the importance Jake played to the team last season when he first burst in,” said the Rovers boss.
“This season also I remember when he made a hell of save at home to Leeds United when it was still 0-0 and we won 1-0.
“We’re blessed that we’ve got him. He’s still only 22, he’s a great size, people rightly still say he’s still a young age to be a goalkeeper playing first-team football.
“He’s a big asset to Blackburn Rovers and he provides competition for Robbo and Easty.
“Easty signed in the summer as a number three but he’s worked tremendously hard and pushed on and he’s played his part this season.
“You only have to look at the save he made at QPR to get us a point and who knows how important that point could be come the end of the season?”
Midfielder Corry Evans was included in Rovers’ squad for their under 21 clash at Aston Villa last night, having previously lined up againsy Tottenham last week following a four-month lay-off with ankle ligament damage.
January signing Bryan Dabo and teenage ace Connor Mahoney were also selected to face Villa.