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Blackburn Rovers blog: Parallels with 1999 are so worrying
FIRST Blackburn Rovers called for Steve Kean, and there must now be serious fears that soon they may need Steve McQueen.
I don’t think I was alone in believing for quite some time that, regardless of everything that has gone on, Rovers simply had too much quality in their squad to be in serious danger of relegation in the final weeks of the season. Yet here we are.
The parallels with 1999 are worrying and ominous.
A young manager with plenty still to prove trying to arrest an alarming slide down the table, players going into games hampered by injuries – most notably Roque Santa Cruz and Ryan Nelsen in recent weeks – and the penultimate match of the season at home to a Manchester United side on their way to the Premier League title.
It was United who sent Rovers down with a 0-0 draw at Ewood 12 years ago.
United went on to win the Champions League in Barcelona 14 days later. Intriguingly, they may be heading to the same showpiece final 14 days after this year’s visit to Ewood.
Rovers have been fighting against the odds for years, competing with clubs with far greater budgets, but the frustrating thing this time is that this situation was all so avoidable.
They can still stay up, but their chances may be little more than 50/50 now. They have not won in nine league games and have one of the toughest run-ins of the five clubs who realistically look to be in trouble.
Rovers may not yet require The Great Escape, but miss the warning signs now and most around the country know what awaits them.
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