Steve Kean targets fifth place finish for Blackburn Rovers
Caretaker boss eyes European qualification as owners promise "a lot more than £5m" to spend in January
Blackburn caretaker manager Steve Kean is confident he can lead the Lancashire club to a fifth place finish in the Premier League this season.
Kean, 43, has his sights firmly set on European qualification but admits Rovers’ success will be dependant on whether his squad can steer clear of injuries and the availability of funds during the January transfer window.
Kean took the reigns at Ewood Park last week after Sam Allardyce was dismissed by the club’s new Indian owners.
He said: “Can we finish in the top five only spending £5m? It is fair comment if everyone is fit. That has slightly changed because we have a few injuries.”
Venky’s, the Indian poultry that firm bought Blackburn for £43m in November, showed Allardyce the door within four weeks of their takeover, lamenting his lack of ability in the transfer market.
After putting Kean in temporary charge the new owners paid testament to the Scottish coach’s “hands-on approach” and confirmed the former Celtic player will have “the final say” on any future signings.
Rovers’ transfer policy was highlighted as one of the decisive factors in the breakdown of relations with Allardyce after reports suggested Venky’s wanted to bring in their own external agency to deal with the club’s transfers.
But Venky’s chairwoman Anuradha Desai has assured Kean will have full control of transfers in January – and revealed that he is likely to have more than £5m to spend.
“Steve will still be doing the job in January,” she said. “He will have control over the signings in January and, although he will have to discuss things with the board, he will have the final say.
“There is more than £5m available to him. I would rather not say how much, I will say that when the time is right, but I can say there will be a lot more than £5m.”