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Kean backs Swede to hand Rovers boost for promotion
STEVE Kean insists Martin Olsson is mentally ready to give Blackburn Rovers ’ Premier League promotion challenge a boost – as he keeps his fingers crossed he returns from Sweden in good physical shape.
The Rovers boss was disappointed with Sweden’s decision to call him up for international duty this week, as he continues his return from injury, but is adamant the left back will return to Ewood fully committed to the cause.
Olsson’s future in East Lancashire was shrouded in uncertainty all summer after a transfer request was handed in following Rovers’ relegation from the top flight.
Olsson’s agent has been vocal in the 24-year-old’s desire to quit Ewood this summer, with the player himself admitting that he wanted to leave, but Kean believes he is now more than ready to give his all for the club.
Kean said: “We had no bids on Friday for Martin and we are glad of that. He is not 100 per cent fit, even though he has been away with Sweden. It has been a long time since he has played but he is still here and we are delighted about that.
“We were getting mixed signals. I spoke to Martin many times and he said he wanted to get back in the team, then you have agents or agents on behalf of other agents saying his agent had told them he was desperate to get away.
“You can only speak with the player and when they tell you they want to get their head down and stay at the club then that is good news.”
Olsson has missed the start of the campaign as he continues to recover from major groin surgery this summer, with Kean concerned his international call-up was gambling with his fitness.
The Rovers boss had pleaded with Sweden not to risk the versatile left sided player, with him yet to play for Rovers this campaign, but they insisted he did travel.
Olsson however was not involved in last night’s friendly against China and is understand to be returning to Rovers on Monday.
Kean said: “We were very frustrated that Martin went away with Sweden. We contacted them and said we did not think he was in a physical state. He was technically fit but had not played any minutes.
“We asked if he could stay at the club and build back into some training and they were adamant they wanted him over. We are disappointed because we like to think we can work with the national coaches and the federations.
“If he was pushed into a game it could push him into an injury. He could end up going into a game and playing 45 minutes or an hour when he is not ready and coming back injured, so it is fingers crossed.
“He has not played any minutes for us and we can only give them that information. He is getting over a groin injury we had to be careful with. We asked if he could stay they said no.
“I don’t know what he will say. He will say medically he is over his injury but he hasn’t played a full game of football for a very long time.”
Olsson was reported in the Swedish press yesterday as confirmed that he wanted to quit Rovers this summer.
“I wanted to leave, I want to continue to play in the Premier League,” he said.
“There were offers, but the club rejected them.
“Even if we had managed to stay in the Premier League, I would have liked to try something new.”