Yakubu eases Kean’s pain

BLACKBURN boss Steve Kean watched four-goal Yakubu sink Swansea in the first of four “cup finals” he believes will make or break his side’s season — and possibly his own future.

Kean admitted being baffled by the reaction of some sections of the home crowd to Rovers’ 4-2 win, with a number staying behind after the match to chant for his dismissal. Yakubu had opened the scoring in the 20th minute and wrapped up his solo show with a late penalty – becoming the first Rovers player to score four in a Barclays Premier League game.

And Kean, who takes his side to Sunderland next week before consecutive home games against West Bromwich Albion and Bolton, revealed how the Carling Cup loss to Cardiff spurred him on.

Kean said: “I tried to put pressure on the lads because we were disappointed after losing to Cardiff, where a good victory would have got us a good draw.

“We said we needed to turn it round with three of the next four games at home. Let’s turn these games into cup finals because we’ve taken away the opportunity of playing in a cup final.”

Yakubu blasted home the opener after superb work down the left from Gael Givet, but Leroy Lita equalised for the Swans on 35 minutes with a fine header from Mark Gower’s cross.

The goal again stirred restlessness among the home fans, but Kean is adamant the continued barracking has no impact on his dressing room, which he described as “bouncing.”

He added: “We have got a very strong and together dressing room. If I’m getting some stick... I don’t stop seeing my players continue to perform and that will never stop.”

Kean’s faith was borne out by Rovers’ response to Swansea’s equaliser, with Yakubu heading them back in front from a Simon Vukcevic cross in first-half injury-time.

After the ever-dangerous Scott Sinclair had shot into the side-netting for Swansea at the start of the second half, Rovers went further ahead from a Morten Gamst Pedersen corner.

Chris Samba nodded the Norwegian’s set-piece into the path of Yakubu, who headed home to complete his hat-trick and seemingly seal the points.

But Luke Moore fired home in the 66th minute to give the hosts anxious moments before the sending-off of Joe Allen and a late penalty which was converted by Yakubu confirmed the visitors’ fate.

Despite a costly defeat, Swans boss Brendan Rodgers is adamant he will not compromise his attacking philosophy as his side seek to survive in the top flight.

Rodgers said: “I’m very pleased how we’ve adapted to the Premier League and when you play like us, you’ve got to defend your right to play that way. I will continue to do that.”

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