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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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By ESPN Staff

Blackburn travelling to India

Blackburn manager Steve Kean has confirmed owners Venky's intend to take the club to India for a pre-season friendly in the summer.

The Indian poultry firm took over at Ewood Park in December and their ownership has already drawn criticism from fans, who have seen former boss Sam Allardyce sacked and long-standing chairman John Williams depart.

Suggestions of a friendly on the sub-continent had been mooted previously and Kean, who had his regular monthly meeting with the owners in late March, has confirmed plans are being put in place.

''It was a very good meeting. We spoke about pre-season and we are probably going to play a game against (Brazilian side) Flamengo in India before moving on to Hong Kong for the Premier League Asia Trophy,'' he said. ''We will probably do a pre-season camp in Europe and then have quite a long stint in India and Hong Kong - it will probably be a 13 or 14-day trip.

''The quality of the games will be good and it will be an opportunity to globally expand the club. We just want to show other parts of the world who have not seen the team play, that is one of the main ideas of the owners, to expand who we are in emerging markets.

''I think they (Venky's) are taking 2,000 people as guests to the tournament in Hong Kong - it lets other parts of the world see us and gives us good exposure.''

Kean said despite the criticism of the new owners they had stressed to him they were focused on the future. Rovers' first priority is to safeguard their Premier League future as they are currently just two points above the relegation zone.

''They are very excited and very committed to the club long-term,'' he said. ''They watch the games - although not live - and they are excited about the young guys who have come into the team.

''They are very excited about the future and it is my job to make sure the future is going to be bright. We have to get the points as quickly as we can, have a strong finish, climb up the table and get beyond 10th position if we can.''

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