Kean relishing United test

BY foxsports • May 12, 2011

After their 2-1 victory over Chelsea last weekend, Sir Alex Ferguson's side need only one point from their final two games to be sure of a record 19th top-flight title and 12th under the Scot. Blackburn, though, are desperate for points of their own to secure their Premier League status and go into the match three points above the relegation zone. Kean is taking inspiration from last season, when Rovers held United to a goalless draw, as well as their encouraging recent form. The Blackburn boss said: "They've got an agenda but we've got our own agenda for where we are at this particular point in the season. I'm sure they'll be determined, like we will be. "We're in a very good place, getting five results out of the last seven. I think it's going to be a very tight game and we're confident we'll get something from it." Rovers go into the game on the back of a home win against Bolton and a 1-1 draw at West Ham, which have given them a little bit of breathing space in the fight to avoid the drop. Kean said: "We were quick on the break at West Ham. We were explosive and we scored the first goal. We didn't go there just to defend and we won't be approaching the home game with Manchester United looking just to defend. "The key to playing against United is making sure the shape of your team is compact and it's competitive, and I think we've been that over the last six or seven games. "It's a game we're going to relish. It's not a case of us sitting here and hoping the game doesn't come around. It's one that everybody looks forward to and there's a lot on the game as well." Blackburn will look back on their trip to Upton Park last week with mixed feelings after Thomas Hitzlsperger's late equaliser for the Hammers, following which the hosts could easily have won the match. The standout performer for Rovers was centre-back Christopher Samba, who made a number of heroic blocks, most notably to deny Carlton Cole right in front of goal. Kean, though, was eager to give credit to his whole team, saying: "Chris Samba is a big person to get around and the amount of blocks he makes and the amount of times he gets up to put pressure on the ball has been fantastic. "Chris is exceptional at that but Gael Givet, who moved into the centre at the last minute when Phil Jones had a back problem, he gets his blocks in, Jermaine Jones and Steven Nzonzi are flying into tackles at the edge of the box. "Unfortunately the Hitzlsperger shot went through Jermaine's legs as he was trying to get a block. It's our whole defence, and Paul Robinson behind who's marshalling that, and it's a full testament to everybody in the team." Kean has had something of a rough ride in his first six months as a Premier League manager and Saturday will be one of his biggest tests as he comes up against Ferguson for the first time. "United have got great strength in depth," said Kean. "They've got two players in every position who arguably wouldn't weaken any position but we're looking forward to it and I'm relishing putting myself up against Sir Alex." One thing the Scot will certainly not be dwelling on is Rovers' performance at Old Trafford earlier this season when Dimitar Berbatov scored five goals in a 7-1 thrashing. Kean added: "We've got to put that one away and think about how well we did against United last season here and the positive results we've had at home since the turn of the year."


share story