Kean to coach Rovers for rest of season

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LONDON, December 23 – Steve Kean will remain as manager of Blackburn Rovers until the end of the season, the English Premier League club announced on Wednesday.Kean was promoted from first-team coach to caretaker manager following the surprise sacking of former boss Sam Allardyce and assistant Neil McDonald last week.

Venky’s, the Indian-based poultry business that took over the north-west club last month for 23 million pounds (30 million dollars), had made it clear they would not rush to appoint a successor to Allardyce.

A club statement read: "Following the departure of Mr Sam Allardyce as football manager of Blackburn Rovers Football Club earlier this month, Mr Steve Kean was appointed as manager.

"Venky’s London Limited – Blackburn Rovers – has decided to continue with Mr Steve Kean as manager, until the end of the season, June 2011."

Kean’s first match in charge was an uninspiring 1-1 draw at home to bottom of the table West Ham last weekend.

Rovers are currently 12th in the 20-team Premier League, six points above the relegation zone.

After the West Ham match, Kean made it clear he wanted to stay as manager at Ewood Park.

"I want to take the club forward. It’s an interim period, there’s been no games or period of time put on it. I will work with the lads and try and take us forward."

Kean was previously a long-time assistant to Chris Coleman, who he worked with at Fulham, Real Sociedad and Coventry before going to Blackburn.

Venky’s have reportedly targeted a top-seven finish for Rovers — the club are currently four points off such a position — but injury problems and a potential lack of funds in next month’s transfer window threaten that ambition.

Midfielders Vince Grella, Steven Nzonzi and Keith Andrews are all currently injured while teenager Phil Jones could be out for the remainder of the season following knee surgery on Monday.

Rovers defender and New Zealand international Ryan Nelsen voiced his unhappiness over Allardyce’s sacking last weekend while Christopher Samba is reportedly so angry he wants to leave the club.

Allardyce’s exit was labelled "stupid" by Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who said it "confounded common sense".

Former Bolton and Newcastle manager Allardyce took over as Rovers boss on a three-year contract on December 17, 2008.

His first season saw Blackburn finish 15th in the league and in January he took them to the semi-finals of the English League Cup, where they lost 6-4 on aggregate to Aston Villa.

They then finished the league season in 10th place.

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