Defiant Kean ignores hate mob

Saturday’s 3-1 Premier League defeat at Stoke means Kean has the

unenviable record of just six wins in 34 league matches since

taking over from Sam Allardyce last December. Within 12 seconds of

kick-off at the Britannia Stadium, a portion of the small

contingent of travelling supporters were chanting “Kean out”. The

Rovers boss, who it was revealed this week has signed a new

contract, said he empathised with fans but he was not affected by

their calls for his sacking. “I put it to the back of my mind. I am

focused on the job,” he said. “I think if there are a few fans

shouting then they can shout what they want. “They can voice their

frustrations; we are frustrated we didn’t get anything from this

game so I can share their frustrations. “All I want to do is for

the fans to go home happy because they have seen us winning and

play well. “If the fans are complaining and shouting against me, I

just want them to go home and have a good weekend. “We are working

for the same thing. Hopefully I can turn them around, hopefully we

can turn them around because I don’t just think it is me, it is the

players and the rest of the fans – the majority of the fans – who

want the same thing.” Opposite number Tony Pulis, who saw his own

side’s four-match losing streak in the league ended, offered Kean

some advice. “I’ve been fortunate – or unfortunate – to be a

manager for a long time and it is a lonely job when it is not going

well,” he said. “The most important thing you learn and you have to

focus on is you cannot affect what happens outside your club. “What

you can affect is the players and the performances and you have to

concentrate really hard – and that is difficult. “He is a young

manager and if he wants to stay in the game and be managing for a

long time he has to overcome that. “It is difficult but you have to

accept it.” In a terrible first half, Stoke took the lead through

Rory Delap’s glancing header from Jermaine Pennant’s 28th-minute

free-kick. A minute into the second half, Mauro Formica should have

equalised but completely missed his kick from four yards and Stoke

went on to extend their advantage with a deflected long-range drive

from Glenn Whelan and a left-footed effort from Peter Crouch. Ruben

Rochina pulled one back four minutes from time but it made no

difference to the result. “We gave ourselves too much to do and we

were certainly disappointed with the third goal,” said Kean. “We

probably should have taken a couple more chances. We had a penalty

shout (for a second-half foul on Hoilett) and a couple were

deflected wide. “I think the defining moment was when Formica

didn’t manage to catch it (at the start of the second half). “That

was a big moment as I thought that would put us back in the game.”

Pulis was relieved to see his side record their first points since

October 15. “Losing four on the bounce in the Premier League is

something we’ve experienced a couple of times and we just wanted to

get out of that bad run as quick as you can,” he said.