BLACKBURN Rovers new boy Michael Keane says he is ready to be thrown straight in at the derby deep end – as Gary Bowyer closes in on the signing of Millwall winger Liam Feeney.
Rovers boss Bowyer has completed the capture of Manchester United centre-back Keane on loan until the end of the season and looks set to add Feeney on a similar deal before the East Lancashire derby with Burnley tomorrow.
The 27-year-old must have completed his move by 12.30pm today if he is to play in the big Ewood Park encounter.
Feeney, who enjoyed an impressive loan spell at Bolton Wanderers earlier this season, has the pace that Bowyer believes his side are missing.
Keane is certain to make his Rovers debut tomorrow as Bowyer has injury doubts over fellow defenders Grant Hanley and Matt Kilgallon.
And Keane insists he knows what to expect from the grudge match and believes his experience of the Championship during loan spells at Leicester City and Derby County will ensure he will cope with the occasion.
The 21-year-old said: “I know there’s a massive rivalry between the teams as I’ve watched a couple of the games before from a previous season so I know what to expect and I’m looking forward to it.
“I was fortunate to play every game of my loan at Leicester last season and I had a good spell with Derby this season so I’ve got experience of the Championship.
“Hopefully that will help me at Blackburn and I can kick on and do even better.”
Keane will come face to face with Burnley striker Danny Ings – who he knows well – tomorrow.
The pair were part of the England U21 squad for the 1-0 win over Wales in midweek. Keane knew he could be joining Rovers and admits he had a friendly word with the 24-goal Ings.
“He’s a top class striker, really sharp and a great finisher,” said Keane, who turned down other clubs to sign for Rovers until the end of the season.
“He gets lots of goals, as does Sam Vokes, so we’re going to have to defend really well as a team and not just as a back four to prevent them from scoring.”
Keane was pulled out of the England U21 line-up just before kick-off on Wednesday after an administration error saw his twin brother Will – a forward who is on loan from United at QPR – registered instead of him.
Of the blunder Keane said: “I was warming up and with 15 minutes to go I was told I wasn’t starting because of an administration problem.
“It was obviously a mistake and I was disappointed but there was nothing I could have done.”
Bowyer, meanwhile, has refused to confirm whether Hanley, Kilgallon and Tom Cairney will be fit for the derby.
Bowyer said: “They’ve progressed nicely and we’ll give them every opportunity to make the game on Sunday.”
Derby talisman David Dunn is hopeful of being fit while Josh King could be named in Bowyer’s squad having returned to full training.
Young striker Jordan Preston, meanwhile, has signed for non-league neighbours Clitheroe on a month’s loan.