LONDON, England, October 26 – Under-fire Blackburn manager Steve Kean believes his club are capable of mounting a successful League Cup run after they downed Newcastle to reach the quarter-finals.
The Rovers boss, who has faced mounting calls to resign this season with Rovers rooted to the bottom of the Premier League standings, insists his team are capable of going all the way to Wembley.
“Why not – and I said that to the players before the game,” Kean said after watching his side down Newcastle 4-3 in extra time.
“There’s teams that have fancied it in the competition in years gone by and prospered and we fancy it. It also creates competition for places in the team in the league and we will give it a good go.
“We hope we get a nice draw now but we showed we wanted to get a victory in this match and would not let anything affect us.”
Blackburn will need to defy the odds to reach Wembley with the final knockout rounds of the competition promising to be one of the most competitive in years.
The big five of Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool all remain in the competition with Rovers, with Championship sides Crystal Palace and Cardiff completing the last eight.
The draw for the quarter-finals takes place on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has demanded improvement from Adam Johnson despite the England winger’s sparkling performance in Wednesday’s League Cup win over Wolves.
Johnson scored once and set up a goal for Samir Nasri with a magnificent pass as a virtual second-string City continued their free-scoring start to the season with a 5-2 demolition of Wolves at Molineux.
However Mancini- who only last week hauled off Johnson during the first half of the club’s Champions League match with Villarreal — is determined not to let success go to the 24-year-old’s head.
“Sometimes he (Johnson) thinks: ‘Okay in this game I scored one goal, I did an assist, that is enough,’” said Mancini.
“I think Adam, because he is young can improve a lot. He needs to think in a different way.
“He needs to think: ‘I scored one goal, I did one assist, I should continue because I want to score another goal and another assist, and run back to defend.’
“He can do this if he wants. My opinion is this, he has everything to become one of the top wingers.
“Adam is young, he is in his third season in the Premier League. I am disappointed when he doesn’t put everything on the pitch.”
To emphasise his point, Mancini said Johnson was partially responsible for Wolves’ second goal in Wednesday’s rout.
“He played well, but for the second goal Wolves scored (by Jamie O’Hara), he never followed his opponent,” he said.
“Adam is the only one winger we have in the team. He cannot play every three days, it is impossible, but if he wants to improve, he can have a lot of chances to play.”