Blackburn manager Steve Kean laments 'missed opportunity'

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Steve Kean

Blackburn boss Steve Kean rued a "missed opportunity" as his team followed up their shock win at Manchester United with a loss to Stoke.

With QPR and Wolves losing at home, a win would have taken Rovers out of the bottom three, but Peter Crouch scored twice as Stoke ran out 2-1 winners.

"We're kicking ourselves because we feel as though it is a big missed opportunity," Kean told BBC Sport.

"I thought our second-half performance deserved something."

Blackburn's dismal season appeared to have turned a corner with a 1-1 draw against Liverpool at Anfield and a stunning 3-2 away victory over champions Manchester United.

But two first-half goals from Peter Crouch set Stoke on the road to victory.

And despite David Goodwillie's 69th-minute strike and a late siege, Rovers could not avoid suffering an eighth home league defeat in 10 games.

"In the second half we got much closer to their full-backs and there was wave after wave of attack for us," said Kean.

"When we got our goal I thought we would go on and get another one. I thought our second-half performance deserved something.

"No-one would have expected us to get four points from Anfield and Old Trafford, but if we had got something out of today, it would have been a really good return from the three games."

The game at Ewood Park could have taken a different course if referee Lee Mason had not disallowed Christopher Samba's early goal for an infringement by striker Yakubu on Stoke goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen, a decision which baffled Kean.

"At first I thought maybe he'd [Mason] given it against Chris but I'm told it's against Yakubu," he said.

"I've seen it again and the Yak hasn't really done too much.

"I'll have a chat with the referee and get his interpretation on it. I'll talk to him but sometimes you get them, sometimes you don't."

Kean said he saw enough in the performance to suggest Blackburn can climb out of the relegation zone and was delighted that the club's fans did not round on the team after they fell 2-0 behind.

"The fans were excellent today - I think they were buoyant from the last two results," said Kean, who enjoyed welcome relief from the sustained abuse he has received at recent home games.

"They gave the lads a good reception and were behind us all the way, so I'm sure they will go home disappointed like we will because we feel it's a massive missed opportunity.

"But you look at the table and one win and you are within touching distance of a group of teams above you.

"We have a young side and we have some lads coming back, such as Gael Givet and David Dunn.

"I'm sure for our next league game we'll have another couple coming back which can only be encouraging."

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