Kean defiant despite dreary debut
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Steve Kean admitted his managerial debut had only whetted the appetite despite seeing his Blackburn Rovers side held by bottom-placed West Ham United yesterday.

As debuts go, this was one to forget for the caretaker manager. Having just taken over at Blackburn following Sam Allardyce's shock sacking, the Scot was given the job by the new owners to silence the critics. He failed to do that and to add to his woes, a triple injury setback will hardly have boosted his chances of landing the job full term.

The most significant injury was to Phil Jones, the young England defender who faces up to six months on the sidelines with a knee ligament injury. Kean, who says he wants to fill the vacancy, says this game only sharpened his desire to land the permanent position despite seeing substitute Junior Stanislas cancel out Ryan Nelsen's opener in the 1-1 draw.

"I've enjoyed the last couple of days working with the players on the pitch," said Kean. "I'm used to that. But speaking in team meetings, making substitutions and speaking with staff is different. I wouldn't say I enjoyed it as we didn't win. But I'm looking forward to the next couple of games.

"I have no idea over the time frame. I've had a little bit of contact with the chairman and spoke with her. It was more about her wishing the team the best. I want to take the club forward. It's an interim period, there's been no games or period of time put on it. I will work with the lads and try and take us forward."

I wouldn't say I enjoyed it as we didn't win. But I'm looking forward to the next couple of games.
Steve Kean, Blackburn caretaker-manager

Kean passed his first test having delivered some hard words as Blackburn came flying out of the traps in the second half against the Hammers. They were rewarded through Nelsen's third goal of the season in the 51st minute after meeting Brett Emerton's cross. But as injuries took their toll it was a matter of time before the visitors drew themselves level, with Stanislas providing that in the 78th minute.

"We are slightly disappointed," added Kean. "We got in front and scored the first goal and thought we would go on to get two or three. We feel it's points dropped, rather than winning a point. Having said that, with the amount of injuries we've picked up in the games it's understandable. Phil looks bad and could be out for four or five months on first reflection which is terrible news.

"It's his knee ligaments. He will have it examined by the doctor and will probably have surgery in the morning. Jason Roberts has picked up a hamstring strain and Samba has a twisted ankle, but it's not as bad. To pick up all those injuries and to be left with a very offensive team, a point taken is not too bad."

The omens don't look good either for West Ham. Without an away win since August 2009, Blackburn were there for the taking as the Hammers missed a golden chance to lift themselves off the foot of the table.

"I think we deserved three points today," admitted West Ham manager Avram Grant. "The positive thing was that we were impressed by the spirit. With the problems with injuries and changing team at the last minute, it could have been a hard game.

"It's not an easy place to come when you're losing. It's a very encouraging result but a long way to end of season. The target is clear - to stay in the league. It will be difficult, but of course we can do it. The owners only speak about making the team stronger in January."