Kean content with 'little steps'

Kean content with 'little steps'

Published Apr. 10, 2011 12:31 p.m. ET

Steve Kean said Blackburn missed a chance to take a "big leap" towards Premier League safety after their 1-1 draw with Birmingham on Saturday.

Junior Hoilett cancelled out Lee Bowyer's opener at the end of the first period but the second half proved a pressure-filled affair with few clear-cut chances.

It was Rovers' third consecutive draw and Kean said: "I wanted to take a big leap today but we're taking little steps and we just have to keep chipping away.

"If all the teams around you pick up wins and you only get a point you're massively disappointed.


"But today we're probably a little bit better off than when we started."

Kean reserved particular praise for Hoilett who pounced on an error by Liam Ridgewell to burst clear and round goalkeeper Ben Foster before slotting home.

Kean added: "Junior has shown he can play on any side and if you're a defender and he's running at you he can petrify you with his touch and his pace."

However the hard-earned point came at a price with Hoilett limping off with a tight hamstring and Ryan Nelsen and Roque Santa Cruz also having to leave the pitch early.

Kean indicated all three substitutions were precautionary and added: "The atmosphere in the dressing room is really down. But we will soon come to realise that this is a good point today."

Injury problems also continue to hit Birmingham's bid for survival with central defender Roger Johnson forced off after suffering a slight concussion in a first-half melee.

Blues boss Alex McLeish said: "Roger was a little bit groggy. He was desperate to go back on but I wasn't going to compromise his health. He's far too important a player for me."

McLeish admitted his disappointment over Ridgewell's howler which led to the equaliser for Hoilett, but went on to praise his player for the way he recovered from his error.

McLeish added: "We can't afford to give those sorts of gifts away but we came back in the second half. We really could have crumbled after that but we had our backs to the wall.

"It was a bad moment for the player (Ridgewell) but the next challenge for him was to see if he could recover from it and that's what he did.

"In the end I'm happy with the point. Larsson's free-kick crashed off the post but you can never rule Blackburn out with their long throws and some excellent footballers."