All eyes on Suarez, Kean at Anfield

Kenny Dalglish has leapt to the defence of Blackburn manager Steve Kean as Liverpool’s Luis Suarez prepares for his first Anfield game since receiving an eight-match ban from the Football Association.

Suarez, who is set to appeal the suspension for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra, is still eligible to play as his ban has yet to come into force.

The Uruguay striker featured in the goalless stalemate with Wigan on Wednesday — the day after the suspension was announced — and is again set to play against Blackburn, the Premier League’s bottom club, on Monday.

But there will be just as much attention on beleaguered Kean as there will be on Suarez after a dreadful run of form which has left Blackburn fans calling ever louder for the manager to be sacked.

Earlier in the season Kean said he was willing to meet disgruntled fans to outline his plans for the future.

But the Scot now believes his safety could be at risk if such a meeting took place.

Support
Liverpool manager Dalglish, who masterminded Blackburn’s Premier League title success in 1995, admits the situation at his former club is ‘sad’ but believes Kean needs support — not abuse.

“They are under a lot of pressure and the frustration is understandable in many ways,” said Dalglish. “But I don’t think it is helpful and I think it is sad really that it has come to that, but that is the way it is.

“I think it is unfortunate that as a manager you know that results are going to count and if you don’t get them then you are running the risk of getting your P45 [sacked].

“Results aren’t purely down to what the manager does, he needs support from the players, owners and certainly the crowd.”


Having dropped points at lowly Wigan in midweek, Dalglish is demanding his side return to winning ways as Liverpool seek to keep their hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League alive.

Captain Steven Gerrard could return from his two-month injury absence from an infected ankle.

Midfielder Gerrard (31) has appeared in just five matches this campaign as a result of injuries but he is back in training and stands a chance of featuring against Blackburn.

‘Bit of a stick’
“He’s been training but whether that means he’s ready or not, we’ll have to wait and see,” added Dalglish, who has midfielder Jay Spearing available after suspension.

Meanwhile, Kean’s future could be decided over the course of the next few days with Blackburn facing a daunting match against Manchester United on December 31 after Liverpool.

“It’s not a nice place we find ourselves in at the moment,” said Kean, who was appointed a year ago after Blackburn’s Indian owners Venky’s sacked Sam Allardyce.

“I’ll take the responsibility for that, I’ll never shirk away from that or duck that. The players are giving me everything they can.

“It’s been tough. It’s never easy when you’re getting a bit of stick but it’s part of the job.

“There’s plenty of people who have got stick over the years from fans and months later the fans are singing your name. That’s football.”

Blackburn could be without first-choice keeper Paul Robinson who has a small tear in his calf muscle while Sweden international Martin Olsson (hamstring) has not recovered as quickly as anticipated. — AFP

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

High Court strikes down ‘paternalistic’ lockdown regulations

The order of unconstitutionality has been suspended for two weeks

L’Oréal workers demand a shutdown of local plant, citing Covid-19...

The French cosmetics company’s Midrand plant has recorded 16 Covid-19 cases in two weeks

Protective equipment for schools in KwaZulu-Natal goes ‘missing’

Without protective equipment, schools in uMlazi, Pinetown and Zululand won’t meet the already delayed deadline for reopening
Advertising

Press Releases

Empowering his people to unleash their potential

'Being registered as an AGA(SA) means you are capable of engineering an idea and turning it into money,' says Raymond Mayekisa

What is an AGA(SA) and AT(SA) and why do they matter?

If your company has these qualified professionals it will help improve efficiencies and accelerate progress by assisting your organisation to perform better

Mining company uses rich seam of technology to gear up for Covid-19

Itec Direct technology provides instant temperature screening of staff returniing to the workplace with no human contact

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday