Blackburn v Fulham reaction

Blackburn v Fulham reaction

Published Jan. 14, 2012 7:15 p.m. ET

Samba, who has been linked with Tottenham, QPR and Paris St Germain, was last week quoted as saying "it is time for a change".

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 cramps.

"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 other.

"Anybody else who is not here, I'd rather not talk about them."

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 Kean.

"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 zone.

"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.