When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Kazim-Richards: I'm right behind new Blackburn Rovers boss
COLIN Kazim-Richards says he already feels more comfortable under Michael Appleton’s management than he did under Henning Berg – insisting he is fully behind Blackburn Rovers’ new boss despite his recent Twitter outburst.
Appleton takes charge of Rovers for the second time tonight when they host Brighton at Ewood Park, three days after his reign started with a 2-1 home loss to Charlton.
The loss ended a four-match unbeaten run that was established under caretaker boss Gary Bowyer following Berg’s sacking.
A number of Rovers’ squad had felt Bowyer should be given longer in charge – something that Kazim-Richards voiced publicly on Twitter.
But the forward, who played for Brighton between 2005 and 2006, insists his comments were never aimed at Appleton and says he has been impressed by the new manager.
“I have to admit that I was a bit sceptical with changing the manager,” Kazim-Richards said.
“I think I didn’t hide that on my Twitter but to be 100 per cent honest he (Appleton) has come in and he’s been so direct and so straight with us.
“I do think that’s what we needed because no disrespect to the last manager but the one before that (Berg), you didn’t really know what you were getting from him.
“Maybe he just kept a lot more in, but you didn’t know what he actually thought about you or about what was going on.
“Personally I like a manager who is direct, I’ve had a lot of those coaches – like Neil Warnock who helped my career massively.”
Rovers were not at their best against Charlton but Kazim-Richards was adamant that it was not down to the latest managerial change, despite the support for Bowyer.
“I don’t go out on the pitch to play football and lose,” he said.
“I hate losing more than I like winning. Sometimes the reality of it is you lose certain games and we weren’t good enough on Saturday.
“It isn’t anything to do with the gaffer and the staff he’s brought, because they’ve been top notch.”
Asked if he regretted his Twitter comments, he said: “Sometimes you learn from it but I don’t regret anything.
“I never said anything personal, it was just that Gary came in, we were unbeaten in four and it said until the end of January. It wasn’t directed at any specific coach or person.”
Tonight’s game was originally called off in December because of a waterlogged pitch but Rovers are confident the rearranged fixture would go ahead despite continuing snow and plummeting temperatures.
And Kazim-Richards appealed to fans not to allow their discontent with owners Venky’s to impact on their support for the team.
“It’s been difficult playing at home,” said the 26-year-old, who revealed he has turned down the opportunity to cut short his season-long loan.
“I just want everyone to know obviously we can’t control what goes on upstairs but we can control what happens on the pitch.
“We have the same aspirations as all the fans, we don’t want to be playing in this league but the reality is we’re here, we’re in this situation.
“I know we’re going through difficult times and it’s all politics but in the stadium when we’re playing on a matchday, stay with us.
“I think it’s just as difficult for the gaffer as it is for us, coming into a situation that is not so transparent.”