Tuesday 12 December 2017

Kean: I'll get Samba dancing for Rovers

BLACKBURN boss Steve Kean was poised to sit down with Christopher Samba today and was confident the defender would be ready to play a key role in Rovers' bid to avoid relegation.

The club captain missed his third straight game in last night's 2-0 defeat by Newcastle following the rejection of his transfer request.

Blackburn stuck to their guns in not allowing Samba to leave, turning down two bids from QPR earlier this month, and Kean said: "I didn't feel as though he was in the right frame of mind. He was fit and available but that was my decision. It wasn't that Chris refused or anything, far from it.

"I felt the defence against Everton and Fulham did well enough that I wouldn't have changed it anyway.


"Obviously Chris had handed in a transfer request that was refused. We didn't have any (more) bids, which was good really because we were only going to turn them down.

"I'll sit down with Chris and I'll say, 'Let's get back to what normally happens when the window closes', where his performance level is very high. I don't foresee any other problems."

Unlike Samba, his long-time defensive partner Ryan Nelsen was allowed to leave, with confirmation this morning the 34-year-old had been released.

The New Zealand international is set to join Tottenham on a deal until the end of the season, and Kean praised the defender's contribution during seven years at Ewood Park.

The Rovers boss said: "He was a fabulous servant for the club."

It was another tale of what might have been last night for Rovers, who went behind in the 12th minute when Ryan Taylor's shot deflected in off Scott Dann.

They then missed a host of chances before Gabriel Obertan's first goal for Newcastle made sure of the points.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said: "We had to be strong, but we had some fortune in the game and that can make a difference."

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