Blackburn v Fulham reaction

Samba, who has been linked with Tottenham, QPR and Paris St

Germain, was last week quoted as saying “it is time for a


Rovers manager Steve Kean has confirmed, after a 3-1 victory at

home to the Cottagers achieved with only 10 men after Ayegbeni

Yakubu’s 23rd-minute dismissal, that Samba then claimed to be sick

on Friday morning.

“He trained really well all week, but then he texted the doctor

on Friday to say he was not feeling well,” said Kean.

“That was really disappointing because he would certainly have

been available to play.

“So he’ll be at the hospital either tonight or tomorrow morning,

just for tests because he has complained of severe stomach


“We’ll make sure the virus he has is not too serious, that it

clears up and he can be available for Everton.”

Remarkably, Kean has yet to speak personally to Samba regarding

his remarks to L’Equipe, adding: “When I spoke to the press on

Thursday, I was told he was meant to have done an article.

“So I’d like to talk to him because it’s happened before where

he has been misquoted, but then on Friday he texted in sick, so I

haven’t spoken to him.”

There was a suggestion, though, Kean was not happy with the

player as he said: “I would rather talk about the lads who were out

there, those who put their body on the line for the club and each


“Anybody else who is not here, I’d rather not talk about


After Yakubu saw red for the first time in his nine-year English

football career for a high, studs-first challenge on Danny Murphy,

it was Rovers who took the initiative.

Morten Gamst Pederson scored with virtually the last kick of the

first half with a 20-yard free-kick, with David Dunn netting his

first goal since February 5 last year just 56 seconds into the

second period.

Although Damien Duff pulled one back soon after, substitute

Mauro Formica settled matters in the 79th minute to lift Rovers out

of the bottom three for the first time in four months.

“I certainly think it was a show of team spirit, but more than

that it was a show of discipline when we went a man down,” said


“We all know Yak, he doesn’t have a malicious bone in his body.

We felt it looked a nasty one, but I was surprised when it was red

and not yellow, so we then had to reassemble and be quite bold.

“Of course, we feared the worst at that point because we know

the Yak can score, and if he gets service then he can cause any

team problems.

“But we showed togetherness, team spirit, but there was also

good football intelligence from the lads on the pitch.

“Psychologically, to come out of the bottom three on the back of

a good performance is great for us. We had a lot of big displays

out there.”

For Fulham, it was only their second defeat in their last eight

games, pulling them to within six points of the relegation


“It looked like everything was going for us, but then we

conceded a goal just before half-time, which is not what you want,”

said Fulham manager Martin Jol.

“We tried to repair the damage, but then they scored a second

early in the second half, which we couldn’t do anything about.

“We pulled one back, but when they got their third it was over,

so all credit to them.”

Jol, meanwhile, has confirmed “there is interest” from Blackburn

with regard to striker Andrew Johnson, but it was an issue Kean did

not wish to discuss.