GOS: Blackburn was an opportunity that I would take again, says Steve Kean

Last Updated: 30/09/13 8:37am

Kean looks back on Blackburn days

Steve Kean told Goals on Sunday that if he had to do it all over again, he would still take the Blackburn job.

Kean stepped down after his position as Blackburn manager became 'untenable' in September 2012.

It marked the end of a tumultuous two-year spell which reached a low point with relegation from the Premier League at the end of the 2011 season. His tenure was plagued by fan protests and, despite having the apparent backing of owners Venky's, he decided to call it quits.

"There were certain times when it was very tough, but there were also some very good moments," said Kean on Goals on Sunday.

"Bringing through some young players and I think it was the youngest team to ever play in the Premiership when we played at Old Trafford. We beat Manchester United, we drew with Liverpool, we beat Arsenal. But then you get other times that were tough, we had a lot of players leaving the club and you have to bring in young players and get them up to speed as quick as you can.

"Initially I thought I was only having the job for a game, then it was a couple of games and then all of a sudden you are in amongst it. You have got the job but you don't know how long it is going to last.

"On reflection would I have still taken the job? Yes I would, it was an opportunity. We managed to stay up in the first season and I always hoped that with contact with the owners I could persuade them to take the club in a direction and stay in the division."

Kean came under concerted criticism from some Blackburn fans but he believes that had more to do with their anger at the owners of the club.

"The simple fact is that I was appointed by the owners and because of that I think I was getting a hard time - I don't think the relationship between the fans and the owners has got any better. Fans from other clubs were struggling to get their heads around it but within the club that is really what I felt.

"But the good thing was that within the dressing room you could close the door, work hard together and batten down the hatches and make sure the team are at it every single game. I can count on one hand the times we were off it - we had a great dressing room, everyone rolled their sleeves up."

A lot of the fans' anger apparently came from the fact that they felt that Kean was not honest with them about why certain players were not playing, but Kean says he was just as surprised as anyone when Ryan Nelsen signed and started for Spurs.

"Ryan had a really bad knee problem. I spoke to him on a number of occasions where I asked him if he could give us 20 minutes. He said it just did not feel right. He did not train with the first team as he felt the intensity of the sessions were too much on his knee.

"I had long talks with David Fevre who is the best physio out there - especially on knees - and we could just not get him to the intensity of training. I was massively surprised when he started for Spurs. Three days before that he was supposed to go to the United States and go on a coaching role, then he signed for Spurs which was a massive surprise for us all."