Blackburn boss Steve Kean praises team's first half performance against Wolves after avoiding relegation

The Scot hails his side after building a three goal advantage in the first 45 minutes, though they had to hold on as Mick McCarthy's men pulled two goals back

 

Steve Kean praised his Blackburn players after their tremendous first half performance against Wolves ensured that they avoided relegation from the Premier League.

Blackburn went in at half-time at Molineux three goals up, and despite a Wolves fightback that took the final score to 3-2, both teams avoided the drop.

“I think the first half display was probably our best 45 minutes of the season,” Kean told reporters. “We’ve left it to the last game but I thought we were exceptional, we were a little bit unfortunate not to go four up.

“And then we find ourselves at half time knowing that Wolves were in the bottom three on goal difference so it was going to be dangerous as they would throw caution to wind.

“I thought the way we went after them in the first half was tremendous, we were quite bold, we tried to play with two up.

“I think the first half was comfortable because we had the cushion of the goals, but Wolves dropping in to the bottom three was not a great thing for us.

“We were on the front foot from the first minute, we didn’t want Wolves to settle, they’ve been in good form and we felt the wide two could deliver into the box and we got tight to Henry and O’Hara.

“Most importantly we got Roberts against Craddock, and Hoilett to run at Mancienne and cause trouble which I thought he did.”

Kean also praised his side’s resurgence in the past nine matches, with no losses in their four most recent outings.

He added: “It’s been a bumpy ride, the last nine games we’ve got seven positive results, unbeaten in last four, we’ve played against a lot of good teams and not necessarily got the points, lots of good performances, and there’s been a big turning point.

“I think the group’s come together and gelled. We’ve come out a better team, a better club. I’m delighted for the owners and the 3000 fans that travelled today.”

Kean also revealed his relief for the club at avoiding the drop, after an odd last 10 minutes, akin to last week against Manchester United when neither team wanted to concede and neither team took risks.

“The financial implication of dropping down a division are horrific,” he said. “I had a positive meeting with the owners on Sunday evening and we never spoke about relegation.

“They’ve got significant investment, they want take the club forward, we’ve got a good solid group and we need to strengthen in certain areas. We’ve had a lack of goals this season, and we’d like to address that at the top of pitch.

“We were abreast of what was happening and in the second half we had one of the lads on the bench with a laptop just giving us up-to-date information as it was happening so we could change.

“When the second goal went in for Wolves we changed to five at the back so we had a better chance of keeping them out.

“Mick [McCarthy] let me know, he said ‘both of us are ok’, it was a bit like last week where the last five or ten [minutes] we wanted to get after the ball but if we did we might concede a goal. He gave me a look and I knew they were ok.

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