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Black wants a run to banish the Ewood blues
ERIC Black believes Blackburn Rovers need a run of home wins to banish the divisions of the Steve Kean era and restore a positive atmosphere at Ewood – insisting promotion can only be achieved with a happy fanbase.
Rovers host Watford in the Championship this afternoon as their managerial search continues, with global advisor Shebby Singh revealing that he expects an appointment by the middle of next week.
The club are currently conducting interviews with potential candidates but are yet to make a final decision who they want to replace Kean.
Blackpool boss Ian Holloway, who is said to be disillusioned with life at Bloomfield Road, remains among the frontrunners and yesterday refused once more to rule himself out of contention for any of the current vacancies in the Championship.
It is understood he is not yet completely out of the running for the Burnley job.
Harry Redknapp is still believed to be interested in joining Rovers, but only if he receives an offer he cannot refuse.
Rovers have seen a slight increase in attendances in the two games at Ewood since the departure of the unpopular Kean, but they lost at home to Wolves and caretaker boss Black admits players and fans still showed signs of anxiety in the midweek win over Sheffield Wednesday.
The Scot thinks that is a hangover from the Kean era, when home matches were the scene of continuing protests against the manager, and knows it will take time for the nervous atmosphere around Ewood to disappear.
But Black insists that unity will be vital if promotion is to be secured, and thinks home victories now will do much to speed the process.
“It was very difficult for the players at Ewood, especially for young players,” he said of the Kean era.
“It’s trying to get back to where we feel we’re going to win games at home.
“We may not win them all but we need to be feeling that we can win games and we will win games there - having that belief and getting the supporters to believe that.
“But that’s not going to happen overnight. There’s been a fair bit of negativity as we know surrounding the club, it’s not going to be a click of a switch and it’s not going to happen tomorrow morning where everybody’s happy and let’s carry on.
“It’s going to take time and we have to prove to the supporters that we’re moving forward.
“It can only be resolved by performances like on Wednesday night when we dug in.
“I hope they’ve seen that the players worked exceptionally hard to get the victory.
“Without doubt we need the supporters, I don’t care what anybody says.
“If Blackburn don’t get the supporters back on side, with us and shouting, then we’re not maximising what we have.
“To get out of this division you have to maximise everything at your club internally and externally.
“The number one factor is the supporters and hopefully we can do enough to get them back with us.”
Rovers were still watched by only 13,783 against Sheffield Wednesday but Black feels that it is a tentative atmosphere rather than a lack of numbers that is the main cause of concern.
“I don’t have a problem whatever it is, whether it’s 3,000, as long as we can generate a positive atmosphere about the place and get the supporters back on side,” he said.
“But I thought on Wednesday they really did get behind us.
“The players became a little bit anxious in terms of possession of the ball and that then goes on to the supporters.
“It’s not the supporters that start it, it’s maybe just our anxiety which upsets them a little bit.
“Any negativity that is remaining, we need to try to get rid of it.”
The club currently expect to appoint a new boss reasonably swiftly but probably no earlier than Wednesday, as they speak to each person on their shortlist.
Singh is understood to be interviewing the managers on the list who are out of work, with managing director Derek Shaw making approaches to clubs to speak to those currently in a job elsewhere.
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