Steve Kean wants new players

Blackburn boss Steve Kean has admitted his youngsters are having to grow up fast.

The group celebration.

Not only are Rovers embroiled in a relegation scrap, having failed to fight their way off the foot of the Premier League despite a point at Liverpool on Boxing Day, they are having to do so without many of their key players.

Among those missing at Anfield were goalkeeper Paul Robinson and defender Gael Givet.

It meant that Mark Bunn, veteran of just nine previous first-team appearances for Rovers, made the save to deny Andy Carroll, and 17-year-old Adam Henley booted off the line from the injury-time corner that followed to earn Rovers a share of the spoils.

More than likely, it will be the same again at Manchester United on Saturday.

Of 10 senior players on the injured list, only Swedish defender Martin Olsson has a better than 50-50 chance of making it, with David Dunn and Junior Hoilett the others who have yet to be written out of Kean's plans.

It is hardly the ideal scenario, and something the Blackburn manager is keen to do something about as soon as the transfer window opens.

However, for now, the kids are all right.

"Ideally we wouldn't want to rely too much on the young players," said Kean.

"But that is what we have got at the moment.

"We have so many senior players out injured, the young lads are getting their opportunity earlier than they would have normally.

"The positive is that they have seized the opportunity.

"You have to grow up fast when you are out on the pitch and the Premier League games are coming round so quickly but they have acquitted themselves very well."

Although the atmosphere at Ewood Park was mutinous just over a week ago when Blackburn lost to fellow strugglers Bolton, Kean remains in a job.

Indeed, his position is marginally less perilous as a result of the battling performance at Liverpool, although a repeat of the 7-1 rout Blackburn suffered under Sam Allardyce's stewardship on their last visit to Old Trafford in November 2010 will have the vultures circling once more.

It is against that backdrop that Kean is advising the club's controversial owners, Venky's, of his preferred transfer targets.

Venky's were responsible for the failed attempt to recruit legendary Brazilian Ronaldinho 12 months ago.

Seeing their club linked with another superstar, Italian Alessandro del Piero, earlier this week might make Blackburn fans worry not much has been learned in the intervening year.

Kean insists that is not true.

Whilst less high-profile, and considerably more suitable targets, such as Fulham striker Andrew Johnson, continue to be linked with the club, the Scot is refusing the fan the flames of speculation himself.

"We are going to need to strengthen," he said.

"When you see how many defenders are out injured, it is clear we need to get some bodies in, and at the start of the window if possible.

"But it will be done under the radar.

"We have mentioned names before and said certain people were coming in, then it doesn't happen.

"We were doing it all for the right reasons and were never leading the fans along by mentioning names that weren't real. But we were putting pressure on ourselves.

"This time, with the benefit of hindsight, we will not mention anyone.

"We just want to do it nice and quietly and at the same time push as many people out of the treatment room as we can."



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