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Rovers bidding to retain stars
STEVE Kean has stressed that Blackburn Rovers must keep their squad together this summer as they look to take ‘one step back to make two forward’ in the years to come.
Rovers’ relegation from the Premier League was confirmed with a home defeat to Wigan on Monday and the under-fire manager has insisted that he will be staying at the club, along with controversial owners Venky’s.
And Kean says Rovers must now look to retain their key players this summer.
Asked if he feared other clubs coming in for his best players, the Rovers boss admitted: “Yes, I think they will.
“That won’t be a surprise. That’s a reality with any team.
“I was doing it myself. I was thinking a few weeks ago, ‘Who do we think is going to go down and who have they got who could do us?’ “I think that is just natural.
“Clubs will look at us and they will look at Wolves and I will be expecting there will be a lot of interest in a lot of our players.
“We are attempting to keep the majority together and build a squad that can bounce back.
“We know we have to bounce back quickly, like clubs have done. If you can keep the majority of the squad, you can probably only do that for one or two seasons.
“If you don’t get back up as quickly as possible then your players are attracted back to playing at the highest level.
“We are going to attempt short term to keep the majority of the squad. We have to make sure it is one step back to make two forward. The key is the depth and the blend of the squad, I think you can get out of the league. Our only objective now is promotion.”
And Kean is also eager to add experience – something that they have been lacking following the departure of players such as Ryan Nelsen, Brett Emerton, Chris Samba and Jason Roberts.
“We lost a lot of experience and I think that will be a big part of the recruitment prog-ramme,” said the Scot.
“If we can give the young guys we have a bit help in making sure we can assemble a squad with a bit of experience and young dynamic players, that is going to be important.”
Rovers finish their season at Chelsea on Sunday, in a game that will now mean little to either side as the Blues missed out on a Champions League place following a 4-1 defeat at Liverpool on Tuesday.
But Kean wants Rovers to end their campaign at least on a more positive note.
“We can only look forward,” he said.
“The only important game is the next one, not the last one.
“We will try to finish the season and build a squad that is really competitive in the Championship.
“Things have been very flat, a bit numb initially because we felt as though we could take it to the last game.
“We have got an honest bunch of young players, and them and the senior lads we do have left gave it everything.
“The way the team has played every game will show that our dressing room is very tight. We are disappointed but we made a fist of it and there has never been a question the dressing room has been together.”