Blackburn boss Steve Kean vowed to fight on after his side were relegated amid scenes of vitriol and protest at rain-sodden Ewood Park last night.
Kean was barracked mercilessly by Rovers fans throughout a tortuous game against Wigan which the visitors snatched 1-0 to guarantee their own Barclays Premier League safety with an Antolin Alcaraz header three minutes from time.
Kean has withstood protests throughout a dismal campaign and remains defiant despite the considerable hatred being hurled his way and the prospect of npower Championship football next season.
The Scot said: “I am not going to walk away. We’re devastated but we’ll live to fight another day.
“I will sit down with the owners and discuss a plan on how to assemble a squad to help us bounce back up straight away.
“We need to try to keep the majority of the squad together and add one or two experienced players that can help us.
“I am a big believer in my own ability and a big believer in the guys I have got in the dressing room.
“I have spoken to each and every one of them and they are devastated but I can’t fault their commitment.
“I am convinced we can go on and build a side that can move us forward again - but this is a massive setback.”
Rovers needed to win to have any hope of prolonging their fight against the drop into their final game of the season at Chelsea on Sunday.
Yet it seemed many supporters had already resigned themselves to their fate as they spent most of the game chanting against Kean and controversial owners Venky’s.
A live chicken draped in Rovers colours was released onto the field early on, presumably to demonstrate anger against Indian poultry giants Venky’s, whose 2010 takeover is pinpointed by many as the start of the demise.
Kean was subjected to banners and angry taunts while one angry fan ran onto the field waving his season ticket, although, curiously, he showed it to Wigan manager Roberto Martinez.
After Alcaraz scored and relegation was all but confirmed, some fans threw off their shirts and others invaded the pitch at full-time.
Protests continued long after the final whistle inside and outside the ground.
In terms of the action, Rovers showed some fight in the second half and were unlucky not to earn a penalty when Junior Hoilett was felled by Emmerson Boyce.
Kean said: “The players are numb because we felt as though we did a very good job.
“Certainly in the second half we made enough chances, and we had a very good shout for a pen with Junior Hoilett.”
Kean is convinced he still has the backing of Venky’s and will turn the situation around.
He said: “I am confident we will have a sit down and have a plan in place as quickly as possible.”