West Brom 3-0 Blackburn: Daily Mirror match report
Published 21:30 08/04/12 By Mike Walters
Steve Kean is in danger of presiding over a great escape where the tunnel surfaces in the prison’s exercise yard.
After Blackburn’s third consecutive defeat left them stuck in the Premier League stalags, Kean looked like a PoW plotting a jailbreak without a shovel to dig for freedom.
Just three weeks ago, after two consecutive clean sheets against Wolves and Sunderland, Rovers were six points clear of the drop and Kean only had to roll away the stone to complete his resurrection as a manager at Easter.
But since then Rovers have lost three on the bounce and, if Liverpool make it four in tomorrow night’s game at Ewood, Kean will be roasted by the natives like drumsticks in a Venky’s tandoor oven.
Although he is not yet clutching at straws, Kean is down to the last bale in the haystack, and he said: “There’s no reason why we can’t bounce back and beat Liverpool.
“We did it last year and, if we can put the first 80 minutes against Manchester United together with our 20-minute spell in the second-half here, you will get the overall intensity and performance required.
“We can only look at ourselves, and our first half against West Brom was poor. We have to address why we are starting games so sluggishly and ask whether our mindset is right. One win can change the whole picture again because, points-wise, other results mean we haven’t lost too much ground.
“But we need to start quickly against Liverpool and make sure we’re ruthless when the chances come our way.”
West Brom, who were efficient but flattered by their margin of victory, snuffed out any lingering worries about relegation thanks to Martin Olsson’s early own goal, Marc-Antoine Fortune’s clinical finish and Liam Ridgewell’s late header.
Rovers midfielder David Dunn, who slipped out of the Premier League with Birmingham in 2006, called for bold hearts on Tuesday night.
“We are big boys. It’s not just us in this position – there are five teams down there, all desperate to get out,” he said.
“Togetherness and team spirit are the key in football. A couple of weeks ago, we thought we might have pulled away a bit, but now we’re right back in it.
"It’s been a real testing season – hard times. We are going to have to be difficult to beat over the last six games, and need to be better than that performance at West Brom.”
On-loan Baggies keeper Ben Foster’s brilliant double save from Yakubu and Bradley Orr, nine minutes after the break, was the game’s pivotal moment, and Ridgewell joined the crowd’s demand to make his move from parent club Birmingham permanent.
He said: “Fozzer took everything they could throw at him. Our fans were singing ‘Sign him up’, and a lot of our players would go along with that. We want to take this club forward and holding on to a goalkeeper of his presence and stature would be a big step in that direction.”
Sub Anthony Modeste’s 11-minute cameo culminated in a late red card, for kicking out at Billy Jones, to put the tin lid on Rovers’ miserable excursion.
Thanks for coming, Tony Blackburn.
WEST BROM: Foster 9, Jones 6, McAuley 6, Olsson 7, Ridgewell 7, Mulumbu 6, Andrews 6, Brunt 6 (Cox, 83), Dorrans 6 (Scharner 88), Odemwingie 6, Fortune 8 (Long 90).
BLACKBURN: Robinson 6, Orr 5, Hanley 6, Dann 5, Olsson 6, Nzonzi 6, Pedersen 4 (Modeste 78), Dunn 6, Lowe 6 (Formica 78), Hoilett 8, Yakubu 7.
REF: Lee Probert
MAN OF THE MATCH: Ben Foster - Come on, Woy - sign him up.