Kean hails 'spirited' Rovers

Blackburn boss praises debutant Kazim-Richards

Steve Kean: Would liked to have opened Blackburn's Championship campaign with a win

Loading Market ...

Football Betting

Up To £30 Free Matched Bet

Blackburn boss Steve Kean hailed his side's "spirited, organised and athletic" performance following their 1-1 draw at Ipswich.

Colin Kazim-Richards put the visitors ahead only for Jason Lowe to put through his own net and hand a deserved late leveller to the Tractor Boys.

Kean, who has kept his job despite presiding over Rovers' relegation from the top flight last season, was understandably disappointed that his side failed to hold on for maximum points but was pleased with their performance in sweltering conditions.

"Our fans travelled in numbers and saw a spirited, organised and athletic performance," he said.

"We feel we've got a really good, competitive squad and that we're good enough to bounce back at the first attempt.

"This is the first point on the board at a difficult venue, so I've got to be pleased.

"Ipswich are well organised and not too many teams will come here and get three points, so I must give them credit because I thought they were excellent.

"But we're a bit disappointed not to hold on for the win, after dominating for the first hour and getting our noses in front."

Kean was delighted for debutant Kazim-Richards, who broke the deadlock with a close-range header after Morten Gamst Pedersen's corner was headed on by Scott Dann.

"It was great to see him score and he was unfortunate not to get a couple," he said.

"Throughout most of his career he's played out wide but he's got all the attributes to play up front.

"He's very hard to play against, with a lot of power, and technically he's improved."

Jewell reaction

Ipswich were unlucky to be behind at the interval, having been the better side in the first half, and deservedly equalised eight minutes from time.

"Other than going out there and heading it away myself I don't know what else I can do."

Paul Jewell on Ipswich's defensive frailties

Quotes of the week

Luke Hyam's pass from the left was steered across goal by substitute Jason Scotland, leading to Lowe inadvertently nudging the ball into his own net under pressure from Michael Chopra.

"The least we deserved was a draw - not because we were brilliant on the ball but because of our endeavour," said Town boss Paul Jewell.

"Blackburn made it difficult for us, once we conceded a bad goal from a set-play, but I certainly can't fault our lads for their effort. They're playing for the shirt.

"There weren't too many negatives and at the end of the game we finished the stronger. We said at half-time that we won't be lacking for fitness because we've got a young, athletic team.

"I didn't think we'd wilt but it really was hot out there."

Jewell was left seething by the nature of Blackburn's goal, though. Conceding from set-pieces was a problem throughout last season and has remained so in pre-season.

"Other than going out there and heading it away myself I don't know what else I can do," he said.

"It doesn't matter how good you are between the two boxes, if you don't defend set-pieces or make the most of yours it can cost you the game."