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Blackburn Rovers Blog: Is this the start of Kean’s recovery?
A strong month does not make a summer but the tide certainly seems to be turning after Rovers’ back-to-back wins.
Steve Kean is getting a lot of plaudits, particularly from inside the game, for recent results and no-one is more delighted than this newspaper at the turn in fortunes.
Last December we called for Kean to go and we took a hefty sideswipe at the owners.
Venky’s have done little to alter our opinion in the interim but Kean appears to be now making some progress on the steep managerial learning curve.
There’s still a long way to go - and some of his statements about performances and transfer activity across the months still make me wince.
If Rovers stay up – and it’s great news that this is looking likely – most of Kean’s critics may be prepared to at least put their huge reservations on hold.
But let’s be clear: it will take quite a lot more time, with evidence of a sustained improvement, for him to prove he is the man to take the club forward in the long term.
Going back to December, let’s remember that Kean had won just seven league games from his 37 at the helm, the fans were in uproar and the club was four points adrift of safety. No one could be more delighted than us that there are now signs of recovery.
We were even probably a couple of months behind the Kean out beat being drummed by the majority as we waited for as long as possible before taking the almost unprecedented step of calling for the manager to leave.
Kean though has shown great dignity in the way he has handled his critics.
Now he has started getting results and that is always what a manager will get judged on. If he continues, the support will start to turn in his favour.
It is important to note one swallow does not make a summer. Rovers’ bid for survival has certainly been helped by the ineptitude of some of their rivals.
A second successive survival scrap, after bold statements about European football, is clearly still not good enough.
While the jury is out, there is no doubt Kean is showing signs that he is learning and no one would be happier than us if, come the turn of the year, we are in a position where we can hold our hands up and say he is the right man for the job.
Our opinion on Venky’s ownership of the club has not changed. Rovers’ survival would be despite them rather than because of them.
What survival would do though is give them a second chance. They have two choices now. Spend money the way they promised or admit their initial statements were misleading.
No one would have expected Venky’s to have splashed the cash in pursuit of Europe had Venky’s and Kean not said they would.
Sam Allardyce was sacked for the club to progress and that has not happened. It is time the owners told us why.
If Venky’s real aim is to run a stable club who will count success as staying in the Premier League then admit it. Keep talking about lofty ambitions though and the fans will keep expecting.
Most important of all, let’s all continue to get behind the Telegraph’s Shout Them to Safety campaign and keep our beloved club in the Premiership.
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