Kean keeps close eye on Ireland for talent

He could potentially be sacked by the time the transfer window closes if comments from the club’s global adviser are to be believed but Blackburn manager Steve Kean is on the lookout for a new striker and is looking for players close to these shores.

Kean, who is teetering on the brink once again after Shebby Singh, a mediator between the team and Indian owners Venky’s, claimed three defeats on the bounce would see him sacked, had signed Republic of Ireland international Leon Best ahead of their new campaign.

But with Best now ruled out until the new year at earliest after sustaining a cruciate ligament injury in a friendly last month, Kean is searching for a replacement.

Colin Kazim-Richards has joined on loan for the season from Galatasaray, scoring a brace against Cork City on Sunday, but the Rovers boss is looking to secure something a bit more permanent.

“We’re still trying to strengthen and we’re chasing another striker. We’ve been working very hard all summer to get bodies in and while we got someone in on loan I’m still looking to purchase.

“There’s always quality in the League of Ireland and a lot of people have made successful moves to England so we would be open to casting our eye over some of the players. You can never see enough good players so if someone catches the eye over here we would be interested, yes,” he said.

As for Best, Kean feels the team has been robbed of its attacking focal point for the new campaign. Rovers had paid Newcastle United £3m to sign the 25-year-old after losing both Yakubu and Junior Hoilett during the close season, and the Scot had plans to build the attack around him.

“It’s a massive blow to us and Leon himself is devastated since it happened. He was looking good, was after scoring a goal and was gelling with his new team-mates.

“Without a doubt Leon would have been the starting striker for us this season. I’ve known him a long time and I’ve worked with him before. He was very hungry when he came in and it’s a big blow but we’re confident we can get him back before the end of the season.

“The surgeon was happy with his progress though, and the operation went well, so we’re hopeful that we’ll see him sometime in January.”

While he has made some good signings, bringing Danny Murphy in from Fulham on a free along with experienced campaigners Nuno Gomes and Dickson Etuhu, it’s quite clear that the fans still want Kean removed from the top job.

Even on Sunday, when Rovers defeated City in their final friendly before facing Ipswich this Saturday, banners stating ‘Kean Out’ were on show. Yet the players appear to be firmly behind him and he’s quite happy with how they have performed in the run-up to the new season.

“The players have been working remarkably hard for us and they are very focused on the task at hand,” he added.

“There’s always pressure but with the squad we have built, I feel we’re well equipped. We’ve added good players and I feel like they’ve integrated well.”

U21 Friendlies: Norway 2 Austria 2; Portugal 2 Rep. of Macedonia 1, Germany 6 Argentina 1, Scotland 0 Belgium 1.

Last night’s results - League Cup: Birmingham 5 Barnet 1, Bristol City 1 Gillingham 2, Charlton Athletic 1 Leyton Orient 1 (Leyton Orient win 4-3 in pens), Chesterfield 1 Tranmere Rovers 2, Dagenham & R'bridge 0 Coventry 1, Derby 5 Scunthorpe 5 (Scunthorpe win 7-6 on pens) Exeter 1 Crystal Palace 2, Ipswich 3 Bristol Rovers 1; Millwall 2 Crawley 2 (Crawley win 4-1 on pens), Northampton 2 Cardiff City 1, Oxford United 0 Bournemouth 0 (Oxford win 5-3 on pens), Peterborough 4 Southend 0, Plymouth Argyle 3 Portsmouth 0, Port Vale 1 Burnley 3, Stevenage 3 AFC Wimbledon 1, Swindon 3 Brighton & Hove A 0, Torquay U 0 Leicester City 4, Yeovil 3 Colchester 0.

Scotland: Challenge Cup: Annan Athletic 0 Stenhousemuir 3, Greenock Morton 1 Queen of the South 2 (AET), Arbroath 3 Forfar Athletic 2, Cowdenbeath 3 East Fife 0, East Stirling 3 Airdrie 0, Queen's Park 4 Partick Thistle 5, Raith Rovers 5 Montrose 2.

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CourtsSoccerPlace: IrelandPlace: EnglandPerson: KeanPerson: Steve KeanPerson: Shebby SinghPerson: Leon BestPerson: BestPerson: Colin Kazim-RichardsPerson: YakubuPerson: Junior HoilettPerson: ScotPerson: LeonPerson: Danny MurphyPerson: Nuno GomesPerson: Dickson EtuhuEvent: League CupEvent: Challenge CupOrganisation: BlackburnOrganisation: GalatasarayOrganisation: Cork CityOrganisation: RoversOrganisation: League of IrelandOrganisation: Newcastle UnitedOrganisation: FulhamOrganisation: CityOrganisation: IpswichOrganisation: NorwayOrganisation: AustriaOrganisation: PortugalOrganisation: GermanyOrganisation: ArgentinaOrganisation: ScotlandOrganisation: BelgiumOrganisation: BirminghamOrganisation: BarnetOrganisation: Bristol CityOrganisation: GillinghamOrganisation: Charlton AthleticOrganisation: Leyton OrientOrganisation: ChesterfieldOrganisation: Tranmere RoversOrganisation: DagenhamOrganisation: CoventryOrganisation: DerbyOrganisation: ScunthorpeOrganisation: ExeterOrganisation: Crystal PalaceOrganisation: Bristol RoversOrganisation: MillwallOrganisation: CrawleyOrganisation: NorthamptonOrganisation: Cardiff CityOrganisation: Oxford UnitedOrganisation: BournemouthOrganisation: OxfordOrganisation: PeterboroughOrganisation: SouthendOrganisation: Plymouth ArgyleOrganisation: PortsmouthOrganisation: Port ValeOrganisation: BurnleyOrganisation: StevenageOrganisation: AFCOrganisation: WimbledonOrganisation: SwindonOrganisation: Brighton & HoveOrganisation: TorquayOrganisation: Leicester CityOrganisation: YeovilOrganisation: ColchesterOrganisation: Annan AthleticOrganisation: StenhousemuirOrganisation: Greenock MortonOrganisation: Queen of the SouthOrganisation: AETOrganisation: ArbroathOrganisation: Forfar AthleticOrganisation: CowdenbeathOrganisation: East FifeOrganisation: East StirlingOrganisation: AirdrieOrganisation: Queen's ParkOrganisation: Partick ThistleOrganisation: Raith RoversOrganisation: Montrose
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