Kean fights on after ‘vicious’ abuse

The under-fire manager described recent criticism as “vicious” as
he prepared for Boxing Day’s clash at Liverpool. Supporters brought
their protests to the club’s training ground on Friday when three
days after the 2-1 loss to local rivals and fellow strugglers
Bolton that left Rovers bottom of the table, Kean again answered
questions about the club’s plight and his own position. The chants
of a small group of fans outside the gates of the Brockhall Village
training ground were audible from inside, and despite insisting he
was still open to the idea, Kean was cautious about meeting
supporters. He said: “I have to take direction from other people as
far as health and safety and making sure if we do anything like
that it’s in a proper environment. “At the game the other night it
was pretty vicious so it would have to be in an environment where
first and foremost it was safe.” Supporters’ fears about the
direction the club is heading in under the guidance of Kean and
Indian owners Venky’s have grown this week following home defeats
by West Brom and Bolton that have left them five points adrift of
safety. And it does not get any easier for Kean with a trip to
Anfield to face Liverpool on Boxing Day followed by another away
game against Manchester United. The Scot insisted he would continue
to take the criticism on the chin, saying: “You look at the last
two games and would be expecting, like we all were, to get
something from them. We didn’t and we’ve got to face up to that.
“It’s not a nice place we find ourselves in at the moment. I’ll
take the responsibility for that, I’ll never shirk away from that
or duck that. The players are giving me everything they can. “It’s
been tough. It’s never easy when you’re getting a bit of stick but
it’s part of the job. There’s plenty of people who have got stick
over the years from fans and months later the fans are singing your
name. That’s football.” Kean has been left increasingly isolated,
with Venky’s conspicuous by their absence at recent games while
local MP Jack Straw and newspaper the Lancashire Telegraph have
both called for the manager to go. He received some welcome support
from his fellow managers this week, with Sir Alex Ferguson, Harry
Redknapp, Owen Coyle and David Moyes all condemning the situation.
Kean said: “My phone’s been going hot all week with people phoning
with messages saying, ‘Hang in there’. “No disrespect to local MPs
or local journalists or ex-players, but when you’ve got vastly
experienced managers that are phoning up and saying under the
circumstances you’re doing a marvellous job, then I’ll listen to
them.”