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Five Aside

Venky's backing for Kean

Blackburn owners Venky's have denied manager Steve Kean's job is under threat after a run of three Premier League defeats in four matches.

• Blog: The blame game

Former first-team coach Kean was appointed as the successor to Sam Allardyce in December, despite no previous managerial experience, and signed a two-and-a-half-year contract the following month.

Kean is now under growing pressure, as Rovers are currently just two points clear of the drop zone, and speculation has surfaced that the club's owners could axe him less than three months after he was appointed.

Chairman Anuradha Desai issued a statement on the club website which read: "I do not know the source of these rumours but I would like to clarify that there is absolutely no truth in these reports.

"I would like to put on record that we have a contract with Steve Kean and he will continue in his present position with the club. There is no question of the manager being changed."

Meanwhile, Kean remained bullish over their chances of remaining in the top flight.

"All we have to do is make sure we perform like this for the next nine games and we won't have a problem at all," said Kean. "It's the tightest relegation battle for a very long time and the bottom three will continue to change right to the end of the season.

"I can understand the players' frustration at the end [of the Fulham game]. I had to take Gael Givet off 15 minutes from the end because he'd given so much effort that he was totally empty.

"He was virtually in tears in the dressing room afterwards and now I have to pick the players up and get them to concentrate on the many positives from this performance."


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