Kean rues two points wasted

On paper, a home tie against the league’s bottom team was an ideal

start to life in charge for Kean following the shock sacking of Sam

Allardyce on Monday. Staff at Ewood Park spent all Saturday morning

clearing snow from the pitch and surrounding areas to ensure the

game could go ahead. Blackburn captain Ryan Nelsen netted the

scrappiest of goals in the 51st minute to open the scoring. But the

visitors showed admirable perseverance and grabbed a deserved

equaliser 12 minutes from time. Gael Givet ended a brilliant run

from Scott Parker by diverting the ball into the path of substitute

Junior Stanislas, who crashed a shot into the far corner. For once,

fortune was on the side of West Ham shortly afterwards as David

Dunn put the ball in the net only for referee Mike Dean to penalise

Blackburn for foul play in the box. Kean had no complaints with

that decision but was left to reflect on a missed opportunity as

Rovers failed to make it four home league wins in a row. “We’re

slightly disappointed,” he continued. “Getting in front, scoring

the first goal, we hoped we could get two or three so the lads are

disappointed. They feel as though it’s points dropped rather than

winning a point. “But we were left with a very offensive team with

no holding midfielder, so I suppose a point, taking all that into

consideration, is not too bad.” Injuries were also an issue for

West Ham boss Avram Grant, who gave Belgian keeper Ruud Boffin his

debut after Robert Green failed to recover in time from a minor

operation to remove a cyst, while Valon Behrami aggravated a hip

problem in the warm-up. Despite that, the Israeli felt his team

were unlucky not to win and praised the players for the attitude

they showed in coming back from a goal down. Grant said: “I think

we deserved three points today. We created chances, we created

half-chances, we hit the post. The positives are I was very

impressed by the spirit of the boys. They gave everything. “With

all the problems, needing to change the team at the last moment, we

fought and we almost won. We were the better side and I liked it

very much because I know top teams who miss two or three players

and they have a problem.” Grant is now hoping Green will have

recovered for the Boxing Day trip to Fulham but praised the display

of 23-year-old Boffin. “It was a very good performance from Ruud,”

added the Hammers boss. “We know that he’s a good goalkeeper from

training and he almost saved the goal.”