STEVE Kean has insisted that Blackburn Rovers must improve defensively if they are to remain in the Premier League.
Rovers slipped to a 3-2 home defeat to 10-man Liverpool on Tuesday night to leave them deep in trouble at the bottom of the table ahead of Saturday’s trip to Swansea City.
Kean’s side had taken seven points from three games at the start of March but have since conceded 10 goals in four straight defeats.
And the Rovers boss knows they must tighten up at the back if they are to pick up the points required to stave off relegation, with set pieces proving a particular area of weaknesses in recent games.
“We can’t go into games thinking we have to score four or five goals to win,” Kean said.
“We need to close the back door and we need to defend better, it is as simple as that.
“We need to go into every game now looking to improve, certainly on the set plays “ We look as though we can score from a set play every time but we are looking wobbly when the set plays come into our box.
“We will be looking at how we defend when we have a set play and we need to be more solid behind because we can’t get done on the counter attack.”
But Kean insisted that Rovers will remain positive after sliding back into trouble – even though he says he never thought the job was done when they moved six points clear of the drop zone following the recent 2-0 home win over Sunderland.
“I was saying after the Sunderland win that we were not out of it,” said the Scot.
“I said there were a lot of points to play for and there would be a lot of twists and turns, and there will be.
“We can’t feel sorry for ourselves and I know we won’t.”
The Rao brothers were in attendance at the Liverpool game and it is understood that their visit to England has been scheduled to include time discussing next season’s plans with Kean, as they assess their transfer options during the summer.
Venky’s will remain hopeful that Rovers survive in the top flight and Kean believes they have learned a lot since their initial arrival at the club in 2010.
“They’ve got a much better in-depth knowledge of the whole league now,” he said.
“They don’t just watch our games, they watch all the other games that are on live, they know all the players in the Premier League and they know the intensity of it because I was trying to explain to them that when you take a place from Spain or France that it can take a little bit of time for them to adjust.
“And they don’t just watch English football, they watch Spanish and Italian football as well.
“They’re very successful business people. They do want European football but it wasn’t this year. It was making sure we were in a very stable position financially, which we are now, making sure we survive this season because of the way we’ve had to refinance the club.
“We’ve promoted a lot of young players through and that’s a part of the transformation we’re making.
“I still think in years to come they would like to see a successful team move up the league and there’s no reason why we can’t be attempting that.
“If you’re only trying to survive each year, they’re not that type of people, they want to be successful and for the club to move forward.
“We all want that and I’m convinced we can do that.”