West Brom v Blackburn preview: Andrews has score to settle with 'disgraceful' Rovers
Published 21:30 06/04/12 By James Nursey & Alan Nixon
Keith Andrews aims to push Blackburn and boss Steve Kean deeper into the relegation mire after blasting his treatment there, writes James Nursey.
The midfielder walked away from Ewood Park in January with 17 months of his contract left to join West Brom on a free.
Andrews, 31, claims the Premier League strugglers misled him about his future before trying to offload him behind his back.
And he even admits refusing to play for them after returning from a loan earlier this term at Championship Ipswich, where he scored 10 goals.
Andrews explained: "I went in towards the end of the season and said, 'If you want me to move on, that is fine.' But they assured me of my future and guaranteed me football.
"Then, during pre-season, my advisors found out I was being touted around to this club or that club - there was a season-long loan agreed with a Championship club without my knowledge.
"To be treated like that... I didn't think needed to come to that.
"Last season I had an injury that turned into an infection from the operation I had.
"I only had a chance to play six games last year and from that people deemed I was just a number - seeing my name with 'played six games', they didn't want him at the football club.
"I think I was a good servant for them and gave everything. But without even consulting me I was banded around here there and everywhere without my consent.
"I had phone calls left, right and centre, my phone number was given out - it was a disgrace.
"Mentally I was never going to play for them again after that.
"If they had come to me and said, 'We are not sure of you. Go on loan and see how it goes' then I would have gone back to Blackburn fighting tooth and nail to try to help them out of the situation they are in.
"I did well at Ipswich and they thought I was going to play on the Saturday for Blackburn against Fulham, but I said I had no inclination to play for Blackburn again after the way they treated me."
Andrews, who joined Rovers in August 2008 from MK Dons for £1.3million, has been an instant hit at The Hawthorns to boost his Euro 2012 hopes.
He has netted twice in seven games and Albion boss Roy Hodgson now wants to keep their bargain buy permanently.
Andrews added: "I am keen to play for a club and manager who want me.
"It was my desire to leave Blackburn that I forfeited 12 months of my contract and walked away from an 18-month contract just to come here for six months.
"I just thought for my own sanity I had to get out of that building and enjoy my football and play for a manager who I like and respect and want to learn from."
BLACKBURN boss Steve Kean blasted suggestions that Gael Givet is being left out of the club's survival fight because of a secret clause in his contract, writes Alan Nixon.
Defender Givet has been missing in recent weeks amid claims that, as with Michel Salgado and Jason Roberts, he is due a new deal if he passes a fixed number of appearances.
Kean, however, insists the Frenchman has been struggling with a hamstring problem that proved more complicated than expected and shot down the conspiracy theories before Saturday's trip to West Brom - in which Givet is set to return.
The Rovers boss said: "Gael Givet signed a contract - a fresh, new deal - last year. There is no automatic extension or anything like that.
"His injury has just taken longer to clear up than he wanted. He had a
hamstring tear on a previous tear. He is back and looking good and bright.
"It's always good to have a fighter like Gael in the squad. He can play left-back, left midfield, centre-half. He will put his head in were most people would not put their head in. He is a warrior."
Kean has also had to live with a whispering campaign that Rovers' owners Venky's keep such a tight grip on finances that he cannot use all of his subs in games because of appearance-money limits.
Rovers have only used one replacement in the last two games, fuelling the gossip, but Kean ridiculed that suggestion too.
"We only really look to change it if we are struggling and need something different," said the Scot. "I was just about to bring David Dunn on against Manchester United at 0-0, but then they scored.
"We felt as though we were creating chances with the guys on the pitch."
Kean has spent most of the season fending off questions about selection
Ironically, he is set to come face to face with one 'victim' on Saturday, in Keith Andrews.
Andrews left Rovers under bad terms to sign for West Brom on a short-term deal, but Kean insists the Republic of Ireland midfielder wanted to go.
Kean said: "I got on well with Keith and had a lot of admiration for him
as a player. But when he came back from [a loan spell at] Ipswich he said he wanted a fresh start. That was the top and bottom of it.
"He is an international player who wants to play week in and week out. He
forfeited his contract - it was a big gamble for him. But that does not surprise me, he has got belief in his own ability."