Blackburn Rovers Vs Stoke City, Sun 26 Dec 2010

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New Blackburn manager Steve Kean is hoping to make at least three new signings in the January transfer window.

The 43-year-old former first-team coach was given the job until the end of the season on Wednesday after a trip to India to meet executives from owner's, Venky's, who have pledged to fund new acquisitions next month to counter the club's injury problems.

Midfield is an area of particular concern after teenager Phil Jones suffered a serious knee injury in the 1-1 draw with West Ham last weekend to join Vince Grella, Steven Nzonzi and Keith Andrews on the sidelines.

Jones is expected to miss most of the rest of the season while striker Jason Roberts will also be out for at least a month with a hamstring problem.

Kean, who will take charge of the team for the first time when Stoke visit Ewood Park on Boxing Day, said: "You're always better doing your business in the summer but needs must.

"Obviously we've got a few injury problems and the owners said if I wanted to go and sit with the scouting department over the next day or two and put together a list, give it back to them, and hopefully they can get a few people to help the squad and strengthen us in areas where we're a little bit weak.

"It's not to replace the guys, it's to help, and then when they come back everybody's going to be fighting for positions, which can only be helpful and encouraging for the club. I think we'll be looking at at least three players to come in in those areas."

Kean was put in temporary charge last week following the surprise sacking of Sam Allardyce and assistant Neil McDonald, which was widely condemned both inside and outside Ewood Park.

Captain Christopher Samba was the latest player to make public his dissatisfaction with the situation, but the 26-year-old went further than his colleagues and was quoted declaring his intention to leave the club.

Kean admitted the defender's future at Rovers is in doubt, especially after hearing from his agent that Samba has been seeking a move for a year, but he is hoping he can now restore a sense of stability among the players.

He continued: "I'm disappointed if he has been quoted without speaking to anyone at the club. I spoke to the chairman last night and he's definitely not handed in a written transfer request and he's not made a verbal transfer request to anybody.

"Maybe he's a little bit annoyed or a little bit confused about the way the club's going. Like everybody else, I'll sit him down and tell him what the plans are.

Samba will probably not be involved following his outburst, he would have been a doubt anyway with an ankle problem.

Stoke manager Tony Pulis is grateful he does not have to work in the environment at Blackburn.

Pulis has no such worries at the Britannia Stadium, where he receives the unequivocal support of owner Peter Coates as he tries to establish the Potters in the Barclays Premier League for the long term.

He was saddened by the way Allardyce - and even Newcastle's Chris Hughton before him - were dispensed with but admits modern football is changing.

"Football is a funny old world. You need results as a manger and the disappointing think with Chris and Sam is that they were getting results and still got the sack," said Pulis.

"As a manager if results don't go your way you know eventually things will change but when it is not a result-related decision that is when it is very disappointing.

"We have always said we are very fortunate as a club and a community to have a local person and local business involved in Peter Coates and (his business) Bet 365 who subsidise this club

"I am just very pleased to be at this club with Peter and the family being in charge.

"I think we have been a very stable club for nearly five years and it is also a club where everyone seems to understand where we are trying to get and what we are trying to do and financially it is run in a proper manner."

Last weekend's postponed match at Arsenal has been a blessing in disguise for Pulis as it has allowed a couple of players to fully overcome their injury problems.

Forward Jon Walters has been the major beneficiary as he was suffering with flu last week and was a doubt for the trip to the Emirates Stadium.

Goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen has regained full fitness after being troubled by an elbow injury and a couple of other niggles but will find it difficult to dislodge Asmir Begovic.

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Stoke City
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