GAEL Givet fears he may have played his last game for Blackburn Rovers – as the club’s season reached crisis point at the weekend.
Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Swansea leaves Rovers still three points from Premier League safety with just four games to go and facing a disastrous defensive shortage.
Givet was withdrawn from Rovers’ squad on the morning of the game after Kean claimed he “was not in the right frame of mind” to play, having originally named him in his starting line up.
Contrary to reports, the Lancashire Telegraph understands the Frenchman did not refuse to play and that he was withdrawn after a heated exchange of words with the manager at the hotel pre match.
Givet’s absence forced Kean to play Jason Lowe as a makeshift left back and, with Grant Hanley now likely to miss the rest of the season with an ankle injury, Scott Dann is currently Rovers’ only available centre back.
The club will seek talks with Givet in the next few days to try to sort the situation but the player, who is expecting to be hit with a fine for his part, fears there is no way back.
Sources close to Givet say Givet has become increasingly disillusioned with life at Ewood Park and has made it known he wants a move away in the summer.
Due to a combination of injury and falling out favour, Givet has not featured in Rovers’ last five matches, all of which they have lost to slide back into the relegation mire.
Sources close to Givet say the player was “devastated” to not be involved on Saturday but that, after an argument between him and Kean Saturday morning, the manager decided he was not ‘mentally right’.
It is now understood Givet fears he will be left frozen out until the summer, leaving him helpless in the club’s fight to preserve their Premier League status. Suggestions his unavailability is due to ‘financial issues’ at the club are inaccurate.
Kean himself remain guarded on the situation but, while refusing to go into it, insisted Givet was not ready to play.
He said: “I spoke with Gael earlier Saturday morning and after a chat with him it was very apparent to me that he was not in the right frame of mind to be involved in this game.
“I don’t want to get involved into why, we will keep that private as a club, but it was very apparent he couldn’t be on the pitch.
“I’m not saying he doesn’t want to play. I’m saying his mindset was not right. The things we spoke about I will keep very private but we needed him today.
“We wanted him to play but after the chat that was not going to be the case. I had to select a side and a bench that was going to attempt to do what we needed to get points.
“We will speak with him again and if he is in a better frame of mind then great but today he was nowhere near in the right frame of mind and that is disappointing.
“I can’t get inside someone’s head. I can only tell him how much we need him and how much his team mates need him.
“I don’t know what the rumours are. I said to him we need you to play today, I need you to start and he was nowhere near in the right frame of mind to do that.”
As well as probably losing Hanley for the season through injury, Junior Hoilett (hamstring) and Yakubu (knee) were substituted early in the second half with injuries.
“This is not for me,” said Kean. “It is for everyone. It is for everyone’s team mates, the club, it is not for me. I am the same as the players and the fans, I want us to win but we have to win together and lose together. We have to play for each other and go the extra mile for each other.
“You look at David Dunn, his Achilles is screaming, Bradley Orr has taken an injection to play. We need players who are ready even if they are injured or even if their heads are not right for whatever reason.”