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Kean: Hitmen are striking a winning chord
STEVE Kean believes Ruben Rochina has ‘match winning’ qualities but admits he is spoiled for choice with regards to competition for the second striker role.
Rovers’ forgotten Spaniard played a key role in Morten Gamst Pedersen’s late winner on Saturday, during a lively second half cameo, in his first appearance of the campaign.
Boss Kean revealed Rochina has missed the start of the season with a hamstring injury and, despite having spent most of his Ewood career on the flank, believes his best position is behind the striker.
Kean said: “Ruben was great. He had a 4cm tear in his hamstring so he wasn’t available for the first couple of games.
“I think he enjoys playing in that position. Sometimes when he plays wide and is asked to double up with the full back, that can be a bit difficult for him.
“He shows his awareness and can pick out a pass and set up a chance and he can win games for us certainly. If he gets a sight of goal, he can score as well.
“That is the position he would like to play but so would Gato, so would Nuno and so would Dunny.
“We have a lot of players who like to play in that position but it is making sure we get the players in the right positions to keep grinding out results.”
The Rovers boss also had words of praise for Pedersen after his sublime winner broke Leicester hearts.
The Norwegian’s Rovers future has been uncertain this summer, none more so than when global advisor Shebby Singh was accused of likening him to a pensioner.
Kean said: “He has played at the top level for so long. He is such a fit boy. You look at the stats and the amount of ground he covers, the way he is such a good professional.
“He is in early in the morning, works hard, he is a model pro and I can see him playing two, three or four years more.
“He has had lots of different opportunities to move on but it is eight years now he has been here, lots of chances for glamorous moves but wants to stay at the club and the fact he wants to finish his career here, there are not too many who want to do that.
“We have to take our hat off to him.”