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Steve Kean: Norwich City draw hard to take

Blackburn Rovers boss Steve Kean at Carrow Road. Photo: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Blackburn Rovers boss Steve Kean at Carrow Road. Photo: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

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Blackburn boss Steve Kean admitted Saturday's draw with the Canaries was hard to stomach.

"They are hard to play against the amount of crosses they get in and the way they attack the middle of the goal from those crosses…they don’t stop; they keep coming back at you"

Steve Kean

Only eight minutes remained with Rovers 3-1 up and in control, until Bradley Johnson’s deflected effort off Jason Lowe brought Norwich City back into it.

But it was the injury-time decision to award the home side a penalty, after the ball hit Steven Nzonzi’s arm under pressure from Steve Morison and Grant Holt, that really disappointed Kean.

“It’s a tough one to take,” said Kean. “I know Paul hasn’t had an opportunity to look at the last-minute decision. I’ve looked at it six or seven times from different angles and we feel that Steven was fouled at the back post.

“He was pushed in the back and as he span around claiming for a foul and wondering where the ball was, it hits him in the arm. There is no way he could have meant that and no way it was not a foul.

“All I can say to the referee is my players are devastated. I spoke to him but he said the angle he was at he thought it was.

“I think he was quite a distance away from the ball. We have the advantage of the monitors but you can tell by the player’s reaction.”

The under-fire Rovers manager has seen calls for his dismissal from fans in recent weeks after a poor start to the season, but his side brushed those worries aside with an assured performance – one Kean felt deserved more than the point that took them off the bottom of the table.

“For us to do so well and have the game right in the palm of our hand it’s really tough to take in the manner it happened,” said the Rovers’ boss.

“It feels like a defeat because it is a last-minute decision and five minutes of stoppage time is hard.

“We deserved to win the game and we have to take the positives from that.

“We played good football and would have won had it not been for that decision at the end.

“It is hard because this was our third game in six days, so we really had to get into them on the sport science side and the massage side and really push them back out there.

“I think the effort they put in again today shows they are a good group. They are very tight as a group…maybe we get a deflection or a decision and it evens itself out in the not-too-distant future.

“It’s a very young group and maybe that is the reason sometimes we don’t see out games, because we are so young and towards the end of the game you need a bit of nous to kill it a little bit, take the sting out of it and stop the waves of attack.

“Having said that, I thought Norwich kept on coming back and they gave it a real good go.”

While happy with his own side’s efforts, Kean acknowledged Lambert’s City will prove tough opposition for most.

“It’s not only in this game – we played very well against Newcastle last time out,” said Kean.

“We were the first team to beat them and could have done so here certainly, the chances we made against a Norwich side I feel are a very good side.

“They are hard to play against the amount of crosses they get in – especially from the left-hand side – and the way they attack the middle of the goal from those crosses. I can see them scoring a lot of goals from that.

“They don’t stop. They keep coming back at you.”

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