STEVE Kean admits his Blackburn Rovers side were ‘let off the hook’ by their relegation rivals on Saturday after admitting they had an off day at the Hawthorns.
The Rovers boss described his side’s first 45 minutes as not good enough during their 3-0 defeat at West Brom but insists their second half response was ‘excellent’.
Defeats elsewhere though for Wolves, Wigan and Bolton on Saturday, followed by QPR’s 2-0 loss at Manchester United yesterday, meant Rovers did not lose any ground on the teams around them in the table.
Kean said: “We were disap-pointed with the first half but delighted with the response after I spoke to the players at half time.
“We controlled possession and made chances.
“But at those vital times you’ve got to take your chances.
“But maybe we’ve been fortunate with the other results in that we’ve had a bad day but we might get away with it in the longer run.”
West Brom dominated the first half on Saturday with Martin Olsson’s early own goal giving them the half time lead.
Rovers stormed back after the break though and were only denied an equaliser by a stunning double save by Ben Foster from Yakubu and Bradley Orr, before West Brom once more took control.
“We have to look at the first half because we were poor,” said Kean.
“We brought a lot of pressure on ourselves early on. But we changed it at half time and I thought the response from the lads was excellent. We had about 17 or 18 minutes where West Brom could not get out of their half.
“During that period was the double save from Foster and that was the pivotal moment. I think if Yakubu or Bradley had put that in, it would have been very different.
“I think the response was good.
“We had enough attempts to at least get two or three goals.
“To lose three goals from set plays was disappointing.
“The first goal is disappointing because if Martin gets a better contact on it, it is cleared. But I think West Brom are a good side and have good delivery.
“I’m not saying we deserved to win but we didn’t deserve to lose by three.”
Kean is hopeful striker Anthony Modeste will be available for Rovers’ next three games, despite seeing the striker see red late on.
Modeste was dismissed for ‘intent’ after waving his foot in the direction of Billy Jones but Kean confirmed the club would appeal.
Kean said: “Jones kicks the ball away, which he gets the yellow card for, and Anthony looks as though he is going to lash out but has changed his mind at the last minute and managed to restrain himself.
“If the rule says it is intent I would argue he has actually held his temper and changed his mind and I think it would be harsh if he got three games for that.
“Hopefully the ref will have a look at it and if we can make a good appeal then great.”